Literary Analysis Of The Poem The Addict By Anne Sexton

June 7, 2022 by Essay Writer

The poem starts out with the title “The addict”, giving the reader a chance to fill in the blanks as there are many addicts in the world. Addicted to alcohol, medication, drugs and food are just some of the addiction the average reader will know of. The author choose to leave that open so as the poem open up more information can be gleamed from the author. The author use alliteration starting with line eight “and now they say am an addict”, this literary term is meant to invoke a sense of addiction been a sneaky habit that crawls up on a person unaware. Alliteration is also used once the author admit that she maybe an addict as people say and the sound of dying via these pills are used throughout the poem to give the reader a sense that we all will die eventually but prescription medicines will be her way out line eleven “don’t they know that I promise to die”.

The second stanza is preparing the reader to think about their time of dying and what maybe the cause of death. “I am merely staying in shape” is the use of euphemism rather than saying she’s killing herself it was referred to as her staying in shape or on the path to death. The author is satisfied with her fate and is looking the best way to deal with the fact that she will die and it maybe the medications that are supposed to save her life, she thinks they’re the very thing that will kill her. Even though it wasn’t stated clearly whether the medication is killing her faster than if she didn’t take them line 17 and 18 she alluded to the fact that is has become a habit and thus maybe helping her to live longer than if she hadn’t taken them. The author also use hyperbole in the poem in line 22 “I’m becoming a chemical mixture” is used to give the reader a sense that the medication is taking her life over and she needs them to survive even though she thinks eight per day is a lot and the taste isn’t the best she has come to accept that she needs them to survive. She thinks the medication are more to her than herself she feels like she like them more than life itself which snuck upon her unaware.

The medications are viewed as time bomb in her body that maybe saving her now but later will explode in a cataclysmic chemical reaction. “To kill myself in small amounts, an innocuous occupation”, killing oneself isn’t an occupation but this is the author’s use of foreshadowing to tell the reader eventually these medications will lead to death. It is for the reader to examine oneself and see if they could see what is the addiction in life and how are they killing themselves slowly. The author may have chosen prescription medicines above all the other habits or addiction that people struggle with to show that if prescriptions that are supposed to save lives eventually will kill the person taking them then the rest of addiction must or at least equally as bad. “But remember I don’t make too much noise. And frankly no one has to lug me out”. The author is now finding all the consolation she can find in the fact that her addiction will lead to her eventual demise even though they are meant to save her life. The use of irony in these two lines is to help the reader understand that addictions will get the better of an individual in the end whether they are self-inflicted or under the directions of doctors or experts. “I’m a little buttercup in my yellow nightie”, is the authors use of a metaphor to suggest that each night when she goes to sleep it could be her last night and her nightie becomes her funeral dress. The author continues to describe the process of taking her pills as an eating, ceremony, sports or musical performance.

This use of imagery is to give an indication that many things people do in life are the very things that lead to their eventual death. “Now I’m borrowed. Now I’m numb. ” Borrowed in the sense she isn’t herself and numb to the possible pain of death. She felt she’s not herself and she will be forever addicted or indebted to these medication which will take her life when they are ready.


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