Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note by Amiri Baraka – Book Report/Review Example
The paper "Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note by Amiri Baraka" is a great example of a literature book review.
Characters and their symbolic use: 1. Father who is frustrated with life and contemplates suicide 2. A daughter who is in prayer and chooses God to be her companion as her father has forgotten his duties toward her.
Themes: 1. Realization of duties 2. Suicide as an escape from duties
Citations and their connection to the argument: 1. (line 6) shows how the speaker has understood and views all that is happening; 2. (line 12) tells the frustration of the speaker who records what is missing; 3. (line 17,18) bring about the drastic change in his mind and outlook;
The poem is centered on the speaker. He has a daughter. The father fails to see any significant purpose in his life. However, when he sees his daughter kneeling and praying to God, he gives up the idea of suicide. The daughter crying inside the clasped hands only convey that the girl does not have her father for her support. So, the speaker decides to be a good father and gain purpose.
As a young writer, in his early period of a writing career, Leroi Jones, now Amiri Baraka wrote this poem “Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note”. It is part of a bigger collection of poems that are introspective. This poem was written before the murder of Malcolm X and before the poet’s involvement in black liberation. It broods over the mental state of a father who contemplates suicide because he feels there is no purpose in life. He does not see a bright light in the stars, rather sees the holes made by them in the sky. The perception lies with the outlook. Later, he is drawn away from the idea, when he realizes that he can find purpose in fulfilling his duties toward his daughter. He sees her resorting to God as her father is of no support. So far, he has only thought of his condition and failed to notice his daughter’s. Then he is able to see the purpose in life and decides to move on.
The suicide note is supposed to be a twenty-volume note but ends with only the preface. Life has to move on and people have to make it easier for each other. The daughter is on the verge of falling into depression and it is high time the speaker, as the father of the teen, does something about it. As outlook influences the individual perception of life, there is a sudden revelation at the end that makes the father realize his duties in life. So long, he had been thinking only of himself and nothing else.