"Our Son Swears He Has 102 Gallons Of Water In His Body" Interpretation

672 words - 3 pages

The poem "Our Son Swears He Has 102 Gallons of Water in His Body" is a poem used to challenge the mind of the reader. It makes the reader look farther into the meaning of things. This challenges not only your intuition, but your symbolism abilities as well. The author, Naomi Shihab Nye, seems to be portraying the average adolescent's thoughts of their parents. The poem is about a young man, his damaged relationship with his parents and the quest to mwnding its impairments.

The poem is about an adolescent who believes that his body houses one hundred and two gallons of water. The poem begins, “Somewhere a mistaken word distorts the sum:” this opening statement gives the reader the impression that a conflict or complication is about to emerge. “...divide becomes multiply so he'd wrestle his parents who defy what he insists.” The reader can clearly see the adolescent's relationship with his parents here. There is an evident tension between the boy and his parents which the next line shines more light on; "I did the problem and my teacher said I was right!" so the child is clearly exclaiming his intelligence to be superior to that of his parents.

“Light strokes the dashboard.” This is where the setting of the poem becomes indisputable; the family is in a vehicle. “We are years away from its source.” Is the author's way of indicating that they are still years away from accepting the truth in the boy's statement and fixing their relationship with him. His parents, knowing that having one hundred and two gallons of water on your body is an impossibility, try to reason with the child telling him that this is biologically inconceivable and presenting him with an example: “Remember that jug of milk? No way you're carrying one hundred of those!” but the boy is not persuaded. The poem indicates that the boy is not persuaded and believes he is always correct, whereas his parents are the...

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