Critical Evaluation (Revelation)

Published 23 Feb 2017

Liz Lochead’s poem entitled Revelation is a genre of fictional-reality where there are intentions of truthful facts and data towards the man named Bob on what he did to the yard. Revelation can be defined as a realization or sudden understanding. The narrator knew that Bob as a good and friendly person because of his innocent face and name, but is actually different from his actions in the yard, which was witnessed by the narrator. The narrator intended to witness the actions of Bob in order to justify the true personality of Bob, which was opposite to his physical characteristics. The poem relies on the uncovering event made by Bob whom to be the “suspect” of the yards terrible situation.

In the first verse of the poem established the scenario and the ambiance of the environment. It speaks about the time and the characters. The setting of the poem is relevant to her past as she recalls her memory of childhood experience. She wanted to experiment thing and experience unusual occurrence in her environment. The whole poem is quite confusing due to its abundant symbolisms and imageries. However, as the poem uncovers the characters and its actions, the essence of the poem emerged.

The elements of egg, milk, and bull signify purity, innocence, and strength. The egg represents innocence; milk represents purity, while bull represents strength. These symbols where contradicting as well as overlapping elements that encompasses the reality behind the curse of Bob.

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The second verse reveals the highlight of the poem where the narrator witnessed a different kind of situation right through her naked eye. Irony between light and dark was also used to depict the narrator’s emotions. It also uncovers the protagonist’s unrevealed discretion towards worldly beings and issues. Her ignorance transformed into a complex thinking and apprehension, which made her uncomfortable. The manifestation of her transformation revealed in the last verse, where she choose to run away from what she saw in order to escape from what she has seen.

Another idea to this poem is that a child trying to hold on to her wholesome childhood peace and innocence when she becomes aware of the startling aspect of the adult world can be a form of evil sin, danger, or sexual intervention. Because of the fact that the narrator wants to explore the outside world, she went through her journey of illumination and intensification. It can be said that it is an evil sin because she made an unlawful action that led her to a strange situation. Danger also implicates her actions because for the reason that she was not familiar with the situation and place, she still long for uncovering such event that is “necessary” to her character. Therefore, danger awaits her beyond her expectation of revelation. It is also implies sexual intervention between the narrator and Bob because as the narrator wants to explore things, it also indicates that her form of exploration can be in different levels to the extent of experimenting things such as sexual acts.

The poem signifies different elements and images to help the character of Bob established illusion. Irony also emerged in me parts of the poem such as anti-Christ and antidote. Bob was thought to be anti-Christ but he used antidote to counteract the poison. Through this scenario, it was seen that half of his character is good while half of him is evil. Bob used darkness to hide his character and intentions towards other people. The narrator felt being disgusted by Bob as it went through the doorstep of outhouse. Aside from this contradiction, irony between inside darkness and outside light, between girl’s awareness and hens’ oblivion, between journey to farm and journey home. These counter arguments produced different symbolic opinions on how did the narrator and Bob resolve the situation where they were both of them could not escape.

The poem’s complexity gives stronger argument towards the protagonist’s illusion. The character’s conflict within her did not resolve because she choose to escape from her worldly views rather than to accept the fact of life. The last line of the last verse signifies transformation. The milk represents opposite meanings – innocence and sexual intervention. The protagonist is afraid to let the milk spill because she also afraid to transform herself into a reality that she is not yet ready. However, she already experienced some of the transformation as what she had in the outhouse.

The author’s point of attack emerged after she established the characters of the narrator and Bob. She characterized Bob as a deep and furious man, while the narrator as a loud and experimental young woman. Liz’s perspective towards the setting of the poem is dramatically and experimental where she choose the place of outhouse and yard to demonstrate the actions of her characters as they unleashed their emotions and personality. The character of Bob revealed trough the narrator’s character as he engraves his anger and candescent face towards the narrator’s face. It also implies that desire, sinful actions, and danger also immersed through the body if the narrator.

As a whole, the author’s point of view cannot obtain easily without further reading on her poem. It consist different sensory factors, elements, images, and symbols that are hidden from the true meaning of the context, which a shallow reader would not understand. However, the author made a distinctive attack and attempt to create a new scenario within the story of her poem, which would be revealed through the imaginations of the readers. Nevertheless, its consistency of using words that are interrelated and ironic brought deep impact on the realization and contamination of the characters experiences.


Lochead, L. (date) Revelation. (publisher).

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