Please read (Page 777) on the book of (The Norton Introduction to Literature Kelly J. Mays)

September 18, 2017 9:03:19 PM CDT
1 day ago

Stefanie Pascual

What is the relationship between the speaker in “Alzheimer’s” and the man to which she’s referring in the poem? Do these two people have a cordial, loving relationship? If so, how do you know?


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Just by knowing the title of the poem, I already had a good feelings about the topic of this reading. So after the first 2 lines of the stanza, I had no confusion at all. The poem starts out a bit harsh mentioning “the crazy old man” and “a book he sometimes pretends to read,” almost like the speaker has a sarcastic tone in his or her voice. The poem then leads to the time and place when the man with alzheimer’s is taken home, “this is his house. He remembers it as his.” I happen to have an aunt who is beginning to suffer from dementia, and she is able to recall memories in past years but she cannot obtain any event or person she has met in the past couple of months. The speaker comes to explain how the man “remembers the walkway he built between the front room and the garage..the car he used to drive…He remembers himself.” This shows that the man is able to recollect his time in the house he built, as well as his youth and how he used to love music. The emotion of the poem turns almost heartbroken as the speaker mentions that the man must “decide who who this woman is…welcoming him in.” At that point I start to think that it is not the wife/lover who is the speaker of this poem, but perhaps the daughter or son of the man. If the man can recall his youth and the days he built his home, then I believe that he can remember his kid(s). Someone who is his immediate relative would have had to pick him up and discharge him from the hospital to bring him home.