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Quotes

Quote #1

America I've given you all and now I'm nothing. (1)

Right out of the chute, we are introduced to a speaker who has hit bottom. He's given everything to his country, and all he has to show for his devotion is a nice big cup of nuthin'. This sets up his dissatisfaction with the country, which will carry through the remainder of the poem.

Quote #2

I don't feel good don't bother me. (6)

In case you didn't realize it from line 1, our speaker's not having the best day. Notice how these two complete sentences are jammed together without a period break? The two ideas run into each other the way they would if you heard someone speak them aloud, in a mumbling, sulky, and dissatisfied voice.

Quote #3

America when will you be angelic? (8)

Jeez, America! Really. Is being angelic too much to ask? Okay, well maybe it's a bit of a challenge to sprout wings and become pure in spirit, but really what the speaker is after is a better, fairer, more just country to live in. It's crucial to notice that he asks when this will happen, and not why it won't ever happen. So he seems to suggest that there may be an end to his dissatisfaction with the country—someday, anyway.

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