Poetry Analysis of “Incident in a Rose Garden”            Poets utilize many types offigurative language to reinforce their message to readers for a betterunderstanding of human nature. In “Incident in a Rose Garden,” DonaldJustice depicts the different human reactions to death in what appears to bethe middle ages. Justice incorporates stylistic devices in his poem to illustratethat death is an unstoppable force that takes everyone at one point or anotherregardless of age, sex, or race.            The inclusion of the personificationof death enforces Justice’s motif that death cannot be stopped in spite ofoutside factors.

For instance, when the gardener encounters death he describeshim as being “thin as a scythe” and having “a black coat on, black gloves” and”a black broad hat” (3-6). Justice successfully paints a picture of death and utilizesthe gardener’s fear of Death’s unexpected arrival to further his point. Thisrepresentation of death paints him as being sinister and spooky and highlightsthe fear brought out by the gardener. In addition, after the master declaresthat he “welcomes only friends” in his garden, Death speaks directly to himand claims that the master’s father was once his friend (19). Death’s lengthy dialoguehelps further establish his concept and paints him less sinister than the gardener’searlier description. By giving Death a voice, Justice allows Death to informthe audience of his true motive of taking the younger, arrogant master awayrather than the fearful, elderly gardener. Justice’s ability to give non-livingobjects an essence supports the universal concept that one’s life can end whenthey least expect it.

            By bringing death to life, Justicesupports the overall notion that fate determines one’s demise rather than lengthof life. As a result, Justice successfully illustrates human nature when facedwith the frightening knowledge of their extinction. 


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