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Me up at Does by E.E. Cummings - Essay

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Ivelina Penkina

Reading the poem I was first impressed by its  organization using simple presentation of words and that there seemed to have no grammatical correctness and sense at all.

The questions that immediately arise in my mind are whether this poem is trying to tell the reader anything or what message it conveys? Is it only merely about a poisoned mouse? What is so significant about this mouse that we should pay attention to? Why a mouse? The author could have chosen another animal as a cat, a dog, or a horse. But these animals are considered as  valuable to society and people. While a mouse is entirely taken as garbage, a pest, a grubby animal that must be disposed of, due to its lack of value in any way. On my point of view the poisoned mouse is a representation of a person  who experiences either exploitation or dehumanization by people and the social order under which he exists. He or she was likened by the author or probably by the society to a mouse – filthy, black, ugly, hungry, scavenging and hunted; a trash that must be removed from the household since it signifies all described.

Why the mouse is poisoned is a symbolism of the many social insights and norms in the society, which the person himself or herself  is a victim by believing and following them. To poison the mouse in my perception means that the author might have tried to do something harmful or pernicious to that particular person who is likened to a mouse or the speaker might have tried to kill or to ruin, vitiate, or corrupt him or her or even to destroy or diminish his or her activity just as the owner of the house is trying to get rid of mice by putting poison on some food or by using a trap.

“What have I done that you wouldn’t have?” is a question asked to those who regard themselves as normal and usual individuals under a normal society that punishes the non-normal and the unusual, and treats them like a mouse – to be poisoned and eliminated, not to allow them to achieve equality with the rest of the members of the society. Poisoning a mouse is but a natural act by the household owner, and he is not to be punished by such act – just like eliminating the people who experience dehumanization under their hands – a normal way to do to remove the “inappropriate,” the dehumanized, the discriminated in a class society.



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