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Symbol Analysis

The speaker in this poem describes herself as small, and her father as immense. But for the most part she doesn't just come out and say so: she shows us with imagery and metaphors. This adds to the feel that the speaker is the victim in this poem, and makes her father seem more looming and scary.

  • Lines 1-5: These lines contain a metaphor comparing the speaker's father to a shoe in which she lives. She doesn't really live in a shoe, but uses this metaphor to show us how trapped she feels by the memories of her father. The speaker, then, is small enough to live inside a shoe, and her father, as a metaphorical shoe, is big enough for someone to live in.
  • Lines 9-11: These lines make the father seem huge. The speaker is using the metaphor of a statue to describe her father, but this is no ordinary statue – it stretches across the entire United States! But the speaker doesn't say this plainly – she has to use lots of other figurative language within this metaphor. Saying that her father's toe is as big as a San Francisco seal is an example of simile, because of the use of the word "as." Then, she uses imagery to show us that the statue's head is all the way over in the Atlantic.

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