Эссе: Alcohol and Spiritual Deadlock

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... Henry is immersed in self-pity and incapable of being "appeased," content to dwell in his malaise.  The structure of the lines and stanzas also heighten the effect of the sulking.  The effect created by the meter in first two lines is analogous to experiencing the whine of a demanding child (e.g. "You can't make me!" or "I don't wanna!").  The brevity and simplicity of his convictions also suggest that he is firmly rooted in his sulky disposition and will not easily be swayed otherwise.  However, the speaker sympathizes with Henry and understands his resentment, but also recognizes that "talking" about and resolving the matter would be the best, most mature course, but there is no resolution.  Author Lewis Hyde states, in regard to the childish tone: Why was Berryman drawn to these sources?  The connections are in power relationships.  In a power structure, dialect is the power equivalent of the slave's shuffle.  It is an assertion of self in an otherwise oppressive situation.  It says: "I'll speak your language, but on my own terms."  Baby talk works the same way.  It is the speech equivalent of the child's pout.  Both are signs that there is a distance between the real personal power and the desired personal power.    (16)  The notion of powerlessness is also pertinent to alcoholic behavior and Berryman's condition given such behaviors as sulking and self-pity, as the first step in Alcoholics Anonymous states: "We admit we are powerless over alcohol - that our lives have become unmanageable"(Alcoholics Anonymous).  Henry is "wicked & away," indicating that he does not feel compelled to take control of his situation, and instead escapes. As is suggested by Hyde with the notions of "baby talk," and real versus desired power, the Dream Songs immediately reveal several examples of alcoholic behavior.  The use of "baby talk" also exposes one other aspect of Berryman's condition, the notion that he is a captive of his past, or childhood, due to his alcoholism.  His dependence on alcohol indicates his need for an inner-peace that he is incapable of achieving without a "material spirit."  However, his dependence on alcohol is antithetical to his spiritual needs:  ."..when you stay with a material spirit, you stay at its level, you do not grow"(Hyde 4).  Berryman's vice is exactly that, a lock.  His drinking will not allow him to progress spiritually or emotionally, and he remains confined in his nostalgia and disease.    ...