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Allusion In Billy Collins Poem “Schoolsville

995 words - 4 pages

In Billy Collins poem “Schoolsville”, a man is reminiscing in his memories of being a teacher. He creates an alternate world in his mind, where as he describes a town full of all his past students. The town itself shares characteristics of an actual school feel environment. At the end of the poem, Collins informs us that the speaker imagines himself to be the mayor of his town, and also that his students still “ appear in the windowpane to watch me lecture the wallpaper, quizzing the chandelier, and reprimanding the air” (Collins). Billy Collins used allusion in his poem to give the reader an ironic feel through aspects of its setting and also though its stereotypical comments addressed to ...view middle of the document...

In these lines, the setting describes a city like feel, where as everyone is rushing to get to where they need to be. The bell signifies time, letting the students in the poem know that it’s time to get back to the normal routine. Collins mentions his students zigzagging into the streets, which in relation to school is as if the students are rushing to get to their classes. These lines also helped the readers paint a mental picture to what they are seeing. The irony in the setting helps strengthen the reader’s imagination, which also strengthen the allusion of the poem. In the first example, Collins describes the setting in the physical, natural aspects, which includes nature, weather, and man-made buildings. In the second example, Collins spoke about the human characteristics of a town, and embodies it as a school environment. This is ironic because the people in Collins’s poem are stuck in an eternal school lifestyle, which because of this; the students find it to be normal.
Allusion continues to assist the ironic aspects of the poem by helping Collins describe the stereotypical views of the speaker’s students and how they are grouped. In the first example, Collins wrote “But the boy who always had his hand up is an alderman and owns the haberdashery. The girl who signed her papers in lipstick leans against the drugstore, smoking, brushing her hair like a machine” (Collins). The boy described in the beginning represents the “teacher’s pet” in the poem. He always had his hand up in class, representing the good student in school. He chose to move forward in his life, which made him more memorable to Collins. Apposing to him, the girl with the lipstick represents the preppy cheerleader who ended up taking the wrong path. This girl, as described by Collins, smokes and does drugs. She represents the students who thought they had it all but did...

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