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Milly Pnotporn Jantarakolica

Mr. Matthew Bishop


English 12
25 August, 2017

On “Complaint”

In the poem “Complaint”, William Carlos Williams uses words with alternate

meanings to demonstrate his appreciation of playful language. Throughout the poem, the

narrator describes the struggle of a doctor’s life. He received a call at past midnight during

winter to go to a house and help deliver a child. He enters a dark room which has sunlight

shining through the jalousies. He watches her with sympathy. William Carlos Williams uses

words like “great,” “laboring,” and “jalousies,” which have several meanings, to indirectly

persuade readers to think more about the poem and what he is trying to express through the

poem. In the first part of the poem, Williams uses the word “great” to describe the women

which could be interpreted as fat for pregnant women or good as extraordinary. In addition,

“laboring” is used to portray that the woman is working very hard or is giving birth to a child.

Lastly, “jalousies” is commonly used to describe a blind or shutter, but in this case, it sounds

like jealousy and an assumption could be made that Williams tries to use it to represent

resentment. Overall, William Carlos Williams tries to use the beauty of language to display

the concept of objectivist, which emphasizes on intelligence and cleverness.