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“Wake Up, Little Stevie” by Christina Olson

Artists and poets use their experiences, observations, and encounters to create works of art that guide readers to analyze various events, challenges, or situations from different perspectives. Their competencies become a new opportunity for human beings to relate positively and change their lives for the better. In the poem “Wake Up, Little Stevie,” Christina Olson uses irony, symbolism, and diction to encourage human beings to apply the concept of conservation when studying extinct mastodons and learn how to protect all living creatures by taking good care of the natural environment. Throughout the poem, Olson utilizes such devices to support the theme of conservation, encourage more readers to engage in activities that can improve the sustainability of the planet, and achieve her literary objectives.

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Olson’s poem introduces extinction as a common challenge affecting all creatures today. Human beings’ past mistakes have continued to threaten the existence and survival of many organisms, including overutilization of natural resources, deforestation, and ineffective agricultural practices (Olson). These misbehaviors have pushed different animals and plants to their limits. The poet seeks to apply the fate of mastodons to the theme of environmental conservation and encourage human beings to make them alive again by engaging in protection efforts. The reader observes that Olson has relied on the power of different devices to explain why environmental degradation is a significant problem that many animal species face today. She makes a secure connection with current issues that human beings need to take more seriously than ever before (Olson). The discussion presented below describes the outstanding devices that support the targeted message.

Poets often time use irony to make their audience think twice about what they just read or give emphasis to a central idea. The readers’ role in realizing the distinction between what is said and what is typically intended is crucial to the successful use of irony. The reader must be able to identify with the author’s point of view, as well as the speaker’s feelings and emotions; this is especially important when analyzing poems that are intended for educating people on how to live life. The readers’ role in realizing the distinction between what is said and what is typically expected is crucial to the successful use of irony. The use of irony stands out throughout this poem since the poet wants to encourage her readers to think about the mastodons that lived thousands of years ago from a different angle. She reveals them as extraordinary creatures, while in a real sense, they are dead and extinct (Olson). She goes further to argue that such animals are still breathing and making decisions about certain aspects, such as what to have for dinner and how to pursue their goals in life (Olson). Although their dead bodies have gone rotten, the writer seems to suggest that they are still sparkling with life. Such animals are also breathing and fighting like any other organism on this planet. With the use of irony, the audience or reader observes that the extinct animals can preoccupy people’s minds for a second time and encourage them to think about the tragedy they had to go through. This knowledge will compel them to get the intended message whereby the disappearance of such animals should become a turning point for giving threatened species a chance to live and continue breathing forever (Olson). Such a practice is essential since climate change, global warming, and various human activities continue to endanger many animals. Such an irony stands out since human beings must focus on the extinct mastodon named Stevie in an attempt to reconsider their actions and implement new measures to transform the world. The literary device goes further to describe or echo human misbehaviors despite the fact that they are intelligent and aware of the negative implications of their actions. Such malpractices have, therefore, continued to claim the lives of many species that are unable to protect themselves.

Poets rely on the use of symbolism to present various objects and relay a more meaningful message or information. The practice makes it easier for them to deliver a new meaning that can influence positive reasoning and encourage more people to examine the current predicament of environmental degradation from an informed perspective. In this poem, the identified mastodon named Stevie appears to represent all extinct animals whose fate remains known. However, the author of the poem introduces a new sense of life to this dead creature to transform people’s thoughts and guide them to reconsider or analyze the intended theme from several viewpoints. The poet suggests that the bones of extinct animals are no longer “hardening in their muddy graves” (Olson). Instead, they are fighting, breathing, and focusing on the future. This form of symbolism appears to encourage all human beings to analyze the determined fate of mastodons from an informed perspective and conserve every remaining creature (Olson). All stakeholders need to pursue such an objective, including private citizens, institutions, museums, and government agencies. Such a strategy will eventually protect human life and prepare it for posterity. A collaborative effort is essential since it will become a new opportunity to address the specific problem of extinction and protect the environment. The concept of sustainability from the use of symbolism is also evident since it can compel human beings to focus on superior or evidence-based initiatives that can make every region livable and sustainable.

Poets and writers will choose specific words to create and convey a prevailing mood, tone, and impression for their readers. Moreover, poets are known for their unique use of diction, which separates their compositions. Olson succeeds in using language as a literacy device to deliver the intended information to the reader. The words, phrases, and sentences presented in the poem work synergistically to deliver the desired message, knowledge, and idea to the reader. The tone echoes the intended emotions and moods that the targeted individuals can develop in order to get the intended meaning (Olson). For instance, the term “in another dimension” supports the prose while at the same time influencing the thoughts of the audience (Olson). She applies the phrase five times to capture the attention of the targeted audience. Any person who studies this term carefully will find it easier to acquire or develop the intended concept and act accordingly to transform the world and make it a better place for all. Then, the poet develops a mental picture of the mastodon under the buried muddy waters of California’s Diamond Valley Lake. The effects of such words are evident throughout the poem since they guide the reader towards the theme of conservation. Such a practice is achievable when people take care of the environment to protect all living creatures. These evidence-based initiatives will become a new opportunity for ensuring that living species do not become extinct (Olson). People can consider the importance of reading this work of art over and over again to understand how diction can become a powerful tool for influencing thoughts, behaviors, and actions. The intended mood, emotion, and feelings can result in better practices aimed at protecting the integrity of every environment and supporting it for posterity purposes.

To conclude, Olson’s effective use of irony, symbolism, and diction makes it possible for her to deliver the intended message and compel more individuals to take the issue of sustainability seriously. Furthermore, Olson utilizes such devices to support the theme of conservation and achieve her literary objectives. Such a practice will ensure that every living organism today does not become extinct. Human beings need to follow the identified literary devices to find new ways of engaging in conservation measures and making the planet more sustainable. Through the clever use of language specific to the poem, Olson reveals her feelings that the beauty of mastodons and awareness of extinction can suggest that living creatures will not become extinct. Consequently, the world will become sustainable and continue to meet the changing demands or expectations of all living organisms, including plants, human beings, and wild animals.

Work Cited

Olson, Christina. “Wake Up, Little Stevie.” Palaeo Poems, 2020. Web.

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