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The Woman At The Washington Zoo

Randall Jarrell

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Added by: Lisa G.
The speaker of this poem is at the zoo and I guess envious of the animals in their cages because they seem freer than he is. He's tired of wearing a uniform and of having to suppress his individuality. He wishes he could be more like an animal, instinctive and carefree. Someone else please comment on Randall Jarrell.
Added by: Lisa G.
I just decided that maybe the speaker of this poem is a female zookeeper--maybe she's the woman at the Washington Zoo. That makes sense to me.
Added by: Jane
I agreee with Lisa. Maybe the speaker feels sad for the animals and wants them to be free, but yet would want to have thier life. I think he central purpose of this poem is to reveal the mood or emotion of jelously && depression.
Added by: Mr. Connely
This poem is about a woman who is displeased with her life and how she's always lived behind her own bars so she compares herself to the animals behind the material bars of the zoo. She realizes that it is herself that has held her back, made her cautious, kept her from really living, and she knows that the animals do not realize they are captive, nor that they are vulnerable to the elements, like she does. She feels like just another face in the crowd, no one notices her, unlike the animals who are paraded past hourly.
Added by: Sofia
The woman feels entrapped in her uniform, in her own body. She pleas for help, She wishes to be free. She could repesent the voice of many women in the 60s.
Added by: Bruno
I came to know this beautiful poem by reading Paul Monette's book "Becoming a Man". He describes how, growing up as a gay man in the 50s, he was able to relate to the themes of isolation and sadness that this poem evokes. A very good book, well worth reading.

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