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Kurze Analyse of "The New Colossus" von Emma Lazarus. Angefertigt als Hausarbeit im English-Studium.

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Poetry Analysis of The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus


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Poetry Analysis: Emma Lazarus, 1883 The New Colossus

The sonnet The New Colossus written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 is about the Statue of Liberty and how it welcomes immigrants from all over the world.
From the title we can tell that the “colossus” refers to the Colossus of Rhodes which is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It is a bronze statue of the sun god Helios. The title also shows that the Statue of Liberty is “new” in contrast to the ancient one in Rhode. Furthermore we can tell that our expectations of the title get chattered by reading the first line: “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame”. The poem doesn’t deal with the Greek Colossus but with the “new” one in America.
The lines 1-9 describe somehow the country looking at the statue: “a mighty woman with a torch” (l. 4). It’s obvious that there’s a voice because we cannot find a self-reflexive pronoun such as “I”. In contrast to that there’s the pronoun “her” (l. 5, l. 6, l. 7 and so on).
In the second part (ll. 9-14) the statue is talking to all immigrants. She tells them how to behave: “Give me your tired […] masses” (ll. 10-11). Due to the personal pronoun “she” (l. 9) we can say, that there’s a persona talking which is fictive (the statue). Furthermore this part seems very emotional.
The pronoun “our” (l. 3) shows that the addressee is implicit/fictive in the first part whereas it is explicit in the second part: “your” (l. 12) refers to the immigrants.
The mode is obviously lyric because it’s a short sonnet (14 lines).
About the mood we can say that it’s rather emotional. The statue tries to encourage the immigrants to come to the “New World” which is America. “Send these, the homeless, […] to me” (l. 13) makes clear that she welcomes them with open arms. The first part of the poem shall show how amazing the statue is and that she stands for a new home for everyone: “glows world-wide welcome”.
We can also find a lot of rhetorical devices. In the first two lines there’s a simile. “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame”. This shall show the difference between the old Colossus and the “new” one in the New World. Furthermore we can find a personification because the statue talks to the immigrants in the second part. This makes it more appropriate for immigrants to understand. They can identify with what the “persona” is telling them.
So all in all this sonnet can be divided into two parts as mentioned above. It deals with the topic on immigration and how friendly immigrants are welcomed by the Statue of Liberty which is a symbol for America.







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