A Song In The Front Yard By Gwendolyn Brooks

1275 words - 5 pages

“A Song in the Front Yard”, by Gwendolyn Brooks, illustrates the desire people develop to experience new things and live life according to their own rules. In the first stanza, Brooks uses diction of propriety and unfamiliarity to emphasize the author’s desire to change her life. In the first line, the author establishes that she is only familiar with one way of life since she has “stayed in the front yard all [her] life.” The author “stayed” in the front yard suggesting that she was able to leave the yard and experience new things, but she just was not ready. She was raised in the “front yard,” highlighting the idea that the “front” is the proper way for her to live her life. In the second line, the author realizes there is much more to experience in life and she “[wants] a peek at the back.” At this point in her life, she is not ready to abandon the only life she knows, but she wants to look at the other side of things and all of the different experiences she can have. In the third line, the back yard is described as being, “rough and untended and hungry weed grows,” again representing how Brooks is only used to one place. In the front yard, everything is neat, properly tended, and no weeds grow. After seeing this, she realizes that life is not always as perfect as she was raised to believe, so she wants a taste of something new. In the fourth line, the author says, “a girl gets sick of a rose,” showing how Brooks has had enough of the front yard life and needs to experience new things. The “rose” is used to represent life in the front yard. A “rose” is usually associated with perfection and beauty, reflecting the author’s life in the “front yard.”
In the second stanza, the author uses repetition and diction of change to highlight her motives for wanting to escape the front yard. In the fifth line, Brooks declares that she “[wants] to go in the back yard now,” representing how she has now grown up enough and is ready to go out on her own. In the sixth line, she says that she may want to go “down the alley,” illustrating how she has become more rebellious than before and wants to experience even more than she did before. In the first stanza, Brooks only wanted to “peek at the back,” but now she wants to go in the back and go down the alley. The “alley” is used to represent the extremities Brooks will go to in order to change her life. The “alley” is so far away from what she is used to in the front yard, so she wants to go there in order to experience all that she can. In the seventh line, she wants to go “where the charity children play,” suggesting that a primary reason for her adventure in the backyard is so she can have some fun. Brooks wants to play with the “charity children” because she has not encountered anyone outside of her “front yard” environment. She wants to play with the “charity children” because she sees that people outside of her world can have fun as well. In the eighth line, Brooks says, “I want to have a good time today,”...

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