Essay Example on The Dressing Rita Dove addresses the journey to fulfill self Confidence

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In her sonnet The Dressing Rita Dove addresses the journey to fulfill self confidence and what it is to give your all George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower son of a so called African Prince Friedrich Bridgetower and white mother was a prestige violinist mentored by the great Ludwig van Beethoven to whom his fame came to an end because of his unfulfilling ways We see that although the father and son relationship was not all it should have been they found a way to get through the many obstacles thrown their way The treatment of the son as a friend to the father and the absence of the true father son relationship resulted in their downfall Friedrich Bridgetower failed to teach his son the true ways of life Living your life through the eyes of your son can be rewarding yet unfulfilling because your life experience can or cannot teach another what you have experienced The beginning of the poem depicted from Friedrich s point of view describes how he is viewed from the people s perspective Outside I am not a man I am a thing lines 1 2 Here Friedrich describes the discrimination towards him I believe he is setting the tone to let George know regardless of how light skinned he is he is still a Black man and everyone is not going to like him because of his skin tone 



They will treat him how they want to regardless of how he feels In a way they are considered to be nothing That curious fusion of fear and longing I have learned to make use of lines 5 6 Friedrich knows first hand what it is to be in such a bad situation that he has to definitely think twice of how to deal with it Being a Black man he cannot do or say anything to offend a White person or he will face a lot of harsh criticism As a result of this he acts a certain way for his own good and for the sake of his son George is a mirror of his father carrying himself the best way he knew how despite his father s many faults and being treated no differently Towards the middle of the poem Friedrich expresses his remorse for the many mistakes he had made in his lifetime I am the Dark Interior that Other mysterious and lost lines 20 21 In a way Friedrich depicts his desire of living his dream through his son Friedrich was so caught up in living what could have been his life through his son that George did not really know what it was to have a dream of his own as well as enjoy his childhood Friedrich was more concerned about the fame that his son would achieve than his own son's well being Since in their eyes I have no culture I am free to borrow strange adornments In this way I have made from their lust a business lines 25 26 31 The people do not care what culture is associated with George s as he is in a way forced to act how the people want him to act George does not know the people look at him as a fool and know he will do whatever they say The people enjoy seeing George act foolish as they gain so much from it Under all the costumes George is somebody but they will never know the real him Friedrich submitted himself to the lusts of the world and as a result taught his son to do the same In the last stanza of the poem Friedrich expresses to his son how the music business is just a game 



This is their system they understand the service I provide no trifling pleasure And if to them I am no more than a mere phantasm lines 32 35 As a Black man George was going to be used for the peoples purpose and dumped once he no longer served his purpose anymore The people hated that George was better at something they think they should have been good at Beethoven especially envied George for having good luck with the ladies especially with the woman he really loved Beethoven was quick to turn on George and act like he did not know him anymore and spoke ill of him like he was nothing I would give up my small empire to you my son but not ever must you forget that you are indeed a Prince just not the pitiable one they worship here not just the one they can see lines 40 45 Friedrich expresses his love for his son He wants him to be better than him and learn from his mistakes Even though he was not a good father to him as he should have been he wants his son to never forget his worth George is somebody despite how others view him and he wants George to know he should always be himself and not be something he is not Hate should not consume your heart it should push you to make things right


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