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Ansel Elkins’s poem, “Going to the Movies Alone” differs from the other poems that we have discussed so far in that it does not have a defined syllabic structure.  It does have some structure to it, though, in the repeated use of the phrase “I want.”  Using these words repeatedly shows how the speaker is longing for an escape from reality.  I don’t know if this poem is referencing any particular movie, but the way it is described makes it sound like your average action movie.  Action movies like the one referenced are popular because people enjoy the escape from the reality of their stressful lives.  In fact, the opening line of Elkins’s poem: “tonight, I want to see something explode,” indicates that the speaker has encountered a stressful situation and is frustrated by it.  The speaker wants to escape into the predictable world of the movie, where everything will ultimately work out.  At the end of the poem, though, he is brought back to reality when he steps outside “into the dark parking lot slick with snow and ice” and tries “to unlock the frozen [car] door.”  This is a definite contrast between the generic action movie and the speaker’s life.  He has just watched a movie where people perform daring missions to save the world, and he cannot even unlock his car door. In real life, you have to deal with all kinds of little inconveniences, and the story doesn’t end when you defeat whatever obstacle is in your way.

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