The Minefield Essay

834 words - 4 pages

Diane Thiel’s poem, “The Minefield,” is about a man who has been traumatized by his past memories of war while he was a teenager. The man witnessed his friend stepping on a land mine and watched his body blow into pieces. This horrific experience has been embedded in his mind and continues to haunt him daily. The trauma that he carries with him results in the mental and physical abuse towards his daughter (Thiel) and the rest of his family. In the first stanza of the poem, the setting takes place in a field somewhere between Prague and Dresden. The rest of the poem continues on while he and his family eat dinner. Thiel uses literary elements including tone, metaphors, and similes to ...view middle of the document...

As stated by Thiel, “He gave them to us—in the volume of his anger, in the bruises we covered up with sleeves” (pg 442). Thiel’s father took his anger and resentment out on his family. He physically and mentally abused them because he did not know how else to release his anger. Thiel’s father forces his whole family to witness the pain that he has had built inside of him for all these years. However, he was unaware of how much his abuse would affect his family in the long run.
In the third stanza, Thiel explains the consequences of her father’s unforgettable memories during the war. As stated by Thiel, “He carried them underneath his good intentions” (pg 442). The word “them” is referring to the minefields that he remembered during his time at war. Although Thiel describes her father as having “good intentions”, he was never able to escape from the horrible recollections of his past. The father’s inability to deal with his experiences during the war causes him to take his rage and anger out on his family. The minefield can be viewed as a metaphor for the mental abuse that the father has put his family through. The minefields and memories continue to follow his children years later and are imprinted on the family for the rest of their lives.
Throughout the third stanza, Thiel uses imagery to describe the unfortunate...

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