Ethics || Four Levels of Interpretation || Flax Golden Tales

Level: BA/BBS | Lesson 50 Ethics (Linda Pastan, USA, 1932)

Word Meanings

fall = autumn season

opt = select

eschew = to avoid

radiant = bright

burden = load

Summary

This poem was composed by Linda Pastan. In her poem she says that while visiting a museum and looking at a Rambrandt paining, she remembers an ethics class that she had taken many years ago. The poetess says that her friends and the poetess herself were asked the same question repeatedly by their ethics teacher. The question was that if there was fire in a museum, would they save a Rambrandt painting or an old dying woman. They used to get confused they were small and they couldn’t do anything. They choose woman oner year and next year painting. When the poetess grew old, she became clever and said that she would ask the woman. Then the teacher said that Linda was avoiding her responsibility. After few years, the poetess found herself before the painting and the old woman. She thought that the painting, old woman and the poetess herself are almost same. She knew that they can’t be saved by the children.

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Four Levels of Interpretation

Literal Comprehension

This poem was composed by Linda Pastan. In her poem she says that while visiting a museum and looking at a Rambrandt paining, she remembers an ethics class that she had taken many years ago. The poetess says that her friends and the poetess herself were asked the same question repeatedly by their ethics teacher. The question was that if there was fire in a museum, would they save a Rambrandt painting or an old dying woman. They used to get confused they were small and they couldn’t do anything. They choose woman oner year and next year painting. When the poetess grew old, she became clever and said that she would ask the woman. Then the teacher said that Linda was avoiding her responsibility. After few years, the poetess found herself before the painting and the old woman. She thought that the painting, old woman and the poetess herself are almost same. She knew that they can’t be saved by the children.

Interpretation

Here the writer presents her own childhood experience and try to show that art and life both have equal value in life. Next she wants to say that it is not reasonable to argue about ethics.

Critical Thinking

The poet has written about her own experience that took place when she was small at her school. The writer shows that it is useless to argue about ethical subject. We don’t agree with the writer she says that she confused when the teacher asked her who she would protect either an old woman or a painting. Everyone will say that first they will save the life then things.

Assimilation

after reading this poem, I am quite surprised with the writer when she couldn’t give answer to the teacher’s question. The writer was a child at that time so she might have given equal value to art and the life of an old woman. It means when we are adult or matured we give much importance to life and know the reality of life.

Possible Questions

1. What is the main dilemma of the pastan in the poem?

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Hemant Chaudhary is an student 19 years old. He is interested in Hacking, Blogging,coding. He like to Visit new Places and make new Friends. He used to Learn His web works From Friends and Currently is is CEO and Founder of Meropaper and meroreview.com