Metaphor in Linda Pastan’s “Remission” Poem

In her poem “Remission,” the author Linda Pastan uses a literary approach of metaphor to compare the death of a human body to grow into new shoes. The footwear in the piece symbolizes the end of life, as the author explains at the beginning of her work it is too big and impossible to wear at that point. The reflection on the life that the author provides displays a journey that one leads, dancing through it without shoes. The second part of the poem illustrates how the human body ages or gets sick, as the author refers to the process as “having waged war on itself.”

The author does not mention the main character wearing the shoes at the end; therefore, it can be argued that the person in question has battled his or her illness. Thus, the metaphor applied here illustrates a battle that people go through when they get sick, and the shoes the author mentions are meant to symbolize the inevitable death. However, at this point, they do not fit well, and they are left in the closet on the floor; therefore, the author displays that not every illness is meant to have a bad outcome.

In the lines where a barefoot dance is explained, Pastan mentions a pulse in one’s wrists as a symbol of life that a person continues to live. It can be concluded that both the poem and the metaphor display a personal battle with their bodies through illnesses and diseases that may have a positive or negative outcome. The metaphor here is essential as it offers an easy-to-understand illustration of the author’s central idea.

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