Amanda Poem summary and explanation of every stanza with meanings. Explanations are in English with easy language. These explanations and paraphrasing of ‘Amanda’ will help in understanding the poem ‘Amanda’.
Amanda Poem Explanation Class 10 English
Don’t bite your nails, Amanda!
Don’t hunch your shoulders, Amanda!
Stop that slouching and sit up straight, Amanda!
Hunch – Bending the upper portion of body in forward position
Slouching – A lazy body posture with head and shoulders bending forward
Amanda poem starts with Amanda is getting instructions from the speaker, most probably one of her parents. She is instructed not to bite nails and sitting lazily with her shoulders bent.
The poet here, focusses on the aspects related to the upbringing of a child and how parents go to any limit to bring proper sense to their child. After all she is trained to become a good-mannered social person. The last phrase or word ‘Amanda!’ is used with an exclamation mark which shows the irritation and frustration of the parent. A question rises here – Does it need to bring social etiquettes at the cost of child’s freedom?
(There is a languid, emerald sea,
where the sole inhabitant is me—
a mermaid, drifting blissfully.)
Languid – Without any force or interest
Mermaid – An imaginary sea creature having a woman’s head and body with a fish’s tail instead of legs.
Drifting – A slow and steady movement in a fluid like air or water
This stanza presents the imagination of the little girl, the free-flow of pure thoughts. Amanda uses her imagination as an escape point from day-to-day nagging commands of her parents. She wants to escape such suffocations of a real world by finding peace in her very own created world having no restrains.
She imagines herself to be a mermaid sailing without any controls alongside soft waves of the emerald green sea. This world of Amanda is free and contained in itself and her happiness doesn’t require any other human being.
For a child, mermaid is a symbol of freedom and wonder. Another meaning that is attached with mermaid is that they don’t wish to be disturbed as they live in their own environment and would do anything to be like that. For this reason, Amanda wishes to be a mermaid. Moreover, she imagines to be the only occupant there.
Did you finish your homework, Amanda?
Did you tidy your room, Amanda?
I thought I told you to clean your shoes, Amanda!
Tidy – clean and orderly
Amanda is questioned in this stanza. She asked about whether she has finished her homework, or tidied up her room and also whether she has cleaned her shoes. These set of instructions explains that how every aspect of her is related to questioning and proper guidance.
She is being disciplined for every little thing, making her lose every aspect of hers. Her innocence is eventually getting lost with passage of time. Loss of individuality is a theme of the poem.
(I am an orphan, roaming the street.
I pattern soft dust with my hushed, bare feet.
The silence is golden, the freedom is sweet.)
Orphan – A child whose parents are dead
Roaming – To move about aimlessly
Hushed – Very quiet and still
Bare – Without any cover
Amanda is again lost into her own world with another dream. The reader might feel a tinge of sympathy as Amanda hopes to be an orphan suggesting how much depressed she is because of her parents or real world demands of a disciplined life. She thinks that it is better to be orphan than have parents to control their freedom.
Amanda imagines herself as an orphan roaming on the streets, moving aimlessly without any purpose. She seems happy as she draws patterns on soft dust using her bare feet. She is playfully happy in a carefree calm of world of hers away from shouting and yelling of her parents.
Don’t eat that chocolate, Amanda!
Remember your acne, Amanda!
Will you please look at me when I’m speaking to you, Amanda!
Acne – Skin pimples on face
Amanda is stopped by her parents from eating a chocolate to prevent acnes. Here, we see how a child is made conscious of a natural disease with growth as acne and how much essential it is for Amanda to understand the value of external beauty or to have a spotless face.
Amanda seems to avoid her mother dictating to her. She is still daydreaming. This denial of attention angers the mother and she asks for her attention when she is being spoken to. It shows the way the parent wants to have complete control over individual presence. Outlook is undermining the creativity of mind and thoughts.
(I am Rapunzel, I have not a care;
life in a tower is tranquil and rare;
I’ll certainly never let down my bright hair!)
Rapunzel – Rapunzel is the name of a German fairy tale girl character who had very long, beautiful golden hair. She was held captive in a rare tower by a witch Dame Goethel, who used to come up to the tower by climbing her long hair that she hung down from tower when the witch called her name ‘Rapunzel’.
Tranquil – calm and peaceful
Amanda is still in daydreams imagining to be long golden-haired Rapunzel. Amanda imagines that the life of Rapunzel must have been very peaceful and fantastic in the tower as the tower was away from the people of the world.
But Amanda is clever enough to bring twist to adapt the story in her favour to have a carefree peaceful life. She seeks a life which is away from any other human interference. In the story of Rapunzel is visited by a prince who is the first outward connection from world and she is able to understand and receive love and happiness from this prince.
Amanda doesn’t require any prince, even though she is might be unaware about the feelings of love as she is a small child. She sees even the prince as any way of control on her life that would restrict her from acting of behaving in her own certain ways. It may be because of her parents constantly nagging her that she can’t risk anyone in her domain of freedom.
Stop that sulking at once, Amanda!
You’re always so moody, Amanda!
Anyone would think that I nagged at you, Amanda!
Sulking – To feel angry and upset
Nagged – Constantly complaining to get things in one’s own ways
This stanza is confession of realisation on the part of Amanda’s parents. They ask Amanda not to appear moody and sulking as it will create an impression that her parents nagged her. The poet beautifully manages a balance here – the parents confess that their behaviour is not good from the Amanda’s point of view but as parents they have to discipline their child to face the world with utmost social attributes whether it be education or maintaining tidiness or avoid eatables affecting her beauty and so on.
But the parents cannot be spared as they should approach in a way that doesn’t hurt the feelings of their child. It is better to respect freedom as well as demands of children and them make them realise how important it is to bring discipline and same rules in the life from the very childhood.