Self-centered Teen or Thought-invoking Presenter: “Hanging Fire” by Audre Lorde The speaker in Audre Lord’s poem “Hanging Fire” is incredibly self-centered. Does this limit the poem’s capability to say anything of standard value? An easy read of “Hanging Fire” by Audre Lorde may possibly lead someone to conclude there is no true value in this self-centered composition. However , after critical examination, one can get hold of valuable insights from the composition. The 14-year-old speaker works with major issues that plague the adolescent generation such as expert acceptance, contest and male or female inequality, sexuality, death and communication with parents.


In this article, I will demonstrate the speaker’s feelings on each of these concerns.

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One issue that the speaker addresses may be the pressure to adjust to in with her peers. The poem handles such issues as moving and approaching parties (“I have to learn to dance/ On time for the next party”), the importance of style (“I have nothing to use tomorrow”) and physical appearance (“Why do I have to be/ The one/ Putting on braces”).

These are standard topics that cause teens to fear failure in terms of interpersonal acceptance. The pressure of not installing into social norms may oppress these types of young individuals, both psychologically and socially and the presenter is quite very clear in the poem that she actually is concerned with these issues.

Secondly, the issue of racial and gender inequality is apparent in your poem. The speaker seems to be an African American girl. The poem begins with “I am fourteen/ And my personal skin features betrayed me”. This range could be construed in 2 different ways. First, it may indicate that the speaker is dealing with pimples and blemishes, another sort of a teenager’s concern regarding physical appearance. On the other hand, a more interesting interpretation is usually that the speaker is definitely indicating that she’s black. This reference to race indicates the speaker’s recognition that racism has brought on and will trigger her many frustrations is obviously. Another range in the poem states that “I needs to have been on the math team/ My represents were a lot better than his”. The utilization of this occurrence is very innovative because it handles two concerns: racial inequality and sexuality inequality.

The speaker feels the unfairness of elegance because your woman believes the location on the math team needs to have been for her but , instead, was compensated to the youngster due to her gender and the color of her skin area. This series provides the visitor with among the the oppression and hardships the loudspeaker is enduring as a black girl at school. The loudspeaker later states in the composition, “There can be nothing I wish to do/ And too much/ That has to always be done”. The lady recognizes that it will be hard to step forward and join the fight to acquire society accept equality. Actually at times the speaker feels the task is too hard and this she does not want to try at all. Her adolescent desire to be accepted in contemporary society without ridicule further impedes her attempts to overcome the oppression.

The third issue in the composition is sexuality. In the third line, the speaker states “The youngster I cannot live without /Still sucks his thumb as well as In secret”. It is in this article that the lady tells the reader that she’s not comfortable conveying her different views regarding her libido. The “boy I cannot live without” refers to the youngster inside her and the audience sees the speaker understands that her feelings, thoughts, and desire to the woman sex need to remain a secret for fear of overview and nonacceptance. The secret thumb-sucking may label her insecurities of being homosexual. The presenter feels motivated to live a lie to avoid further ignoring by her peers and society. The statement inside the poem “Suppose I die before graduation/ They will sing sad melodies/ But finally/ Tell real truth me” details the introduction of the truth of the speaker’s secret your life upon her death and thus reinforces the fact that she actually is not ready to publicly recognize her sexuality.

Another matter in the poem is the connection problem involving the speaker and her mom. Each of three stanzas ends with all the same two lines: “And momma’s in the bedroom/ With all the door shut down. ” It is obvious the speaker seems that her mother is definitely unapproachable. The door between the mom and speaker represents the lack of communication moving between mother or father and kid. The presenter, as a teenager, wishes to exercise her independence however requires assistance in order to cope with adolescent issues such as social acceptance, racism, gender, libido and loss of life. However , the conflict between teenager’s developing pains plus the mother’s unwillingness to acknowledge her children’s independence provides caused their communication for being obstructed. The speaker seems alone in the world and thinks that this wounderful woman has nowhere to show.

Lastly, the speaker details her young fascination with fatality. The presenter refers to loss of life in each of the three stanzas. As a teenager, the audio is not only sense overwhelmed by adolescent complications, but is usually becoming aware about the future road blocks in life. The speaker views death as a method of escaping these troubles. Death will allow her connection problems with her mother to disappear, trigger her key about her sexuality to get uncovered and save her from needing to fight against societal oppression to accomplish the acceptance of equality. The speaker is seen to contemplate the common, but unfortunate, teenage idea of whether death and suicide is indeed a way to avoid the pressures of life and growing up.

Therefore , in case the reader of Audre Lorde’s poem “Hanging Fire” will be able to move past the adolescent’s self-pity and in to the substance with the poem, the reader is likely to gain an understanding of the serious issues being contemplated by a 14-year-old black girl. In this composition the speaker considers concerns such as peer acceptance, racism, gender, sexuality, death and the importance of parental communication. Your title, in association with the poem, provides benefit as it communicates to the reader that the audio wishes to “hang fire” or hold off dealing with the various pressures and obstacles in her your life. Thus, even though the speaker from this poem is quite self-centered, will not limit the poem’s capability to say some thing of basic value.


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