Jamie by Elizabeth Brewster is a poem about a boy who suddenly went deaf at the age of sixteen. The poem has a recurring images that represents loneliness which is also the theme. A quote that presents these images is No voices anymore., the quote describes the symptoms of deafness because voices make a noise, and Jamie cannot hear them.
The main conflict that arises is Jaimes daily struggle of being deaf. The author describes his struggle by showing that he is insecure and struggles with his daily life. This is prevalent in the poem through the following passage, And suddenly he watched them with suspicion./ wondering if they were talking of his faults,. It is clearly said by Brewster that being deaf mad jaime feels insecure since he was wondering if they were talking about his disability behind his back of even in front of his face. Also another passage is Kicking a stick, rapping his knuckles on doors, the passage tells us this when Brewster describes the damage done to his hands, to make sure he can go in the direction he wants.
In the poem Brewster has chosen different places for the setting to portrait how Jamie is feeling. The first location seems to be at school. There is reason to believe that the first location was because most teenagers gossip and talk behind each others back. Inevitably this will cause some teenagers to start to feel insecure like Jaime. The second location was the woods. This is known because Brewster explicitly says He returned to the woods,. The passage implies that he is now completely lonely since he has secluded himself within the woods since not that many people live in the woods and that those who do live there are quite introverted.
The main character in the poem is Jaime. His feelings change throughout the poem. Those feelings show an insight to to his life and psychological state. The first feeling was insecurity, Wondering if they were talking of his faults,… imagined laughter behind him. the passage shows common and regular thoughts of a person who feels insecure. The second feeling is loneliness. He feels this because when he started to feel insecure, he pushed people away from him. Since he doesnt feel insecure anymore he starts to feel lonely. A passage that shows this is He was sore with the hunger for company among the people., the passage shows that he really wants friends because the author uses words like company and says that he was sore from being hungry for friends
Brewster uses figurative language really well to convey an extended metaphor, the metaphor is being depressed. A reason why depression is the extended metaphor is because Brewster writes about how some people would feel when they are depressed. For example being insecure, some depression starts off with insecurity which leads to loneliness. The penultimate reason is loneliness, because in many cases people with depression often describe how they feel is lonely. An example from the poem is He became accustomed to an aimless and lonely labour./ He was solitary and unloquacious as a stone./ And silence grew over him like moss on an old stump.,from the passage it has become clear that he is now been lonely for a while now since Brewster uses words like accustomed. The word shows that his has been lonely for a while since to be accustomed to something it must happen repeatedly over time. Hence this is why Jamie is yearning for friendship. The final reason is the physical effects of being deaf. When someone is deaf they start to feel secluded because they cant really interact or communicate with anyone who dont understand how they feel, or they dont know how to communicate through sign language. This is because there is a barrier between people with communication disabilities and people who are fortunate enough to not have those disabilities. The feeling of the barrier can relate to depression, since people with depression often feel alone/ secluded from the world.
Ergo the poem has a predominant theme, depression. Depression is conveyed through an extended metaphor, Jamies deafness. This will allow the readers to make a connection to the real world and/ or a situation they maybe in or someone they care deeply about.