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  • Subject area(s): English Literature
  • Price: Free download
  • Published on: 15th October 2019
  • File format: Text
  • Number of pages: 2

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When an inner conflict arises within one’s self, it may lead to a state with inner darkness which can lead to struggling with life choices.

Octavio Paz is dealing with an internal struggle and confusion in his life, where he is having a deep difficulty in making his life choices, as he is in search of being the best octavio he can be while being confused by himself.

Main Theme

The main theme is inner struggle. Octavio struggles with obstacles in life and trying to find a better "him”. He wants to become a somebody in his mind, so he struggles with his inner self. This Poem is directly about Octavio and how he wants himself to be better.

The person following the first person in the poem is a metaphor for the guilt that the  person in the front has. This is why he does not “see” anybody. It is not a true person, but perhaps the character’s conscience following him as if to imprint within the character’s brain what he did wrong and keep him feeling guilty.

The meaning behind The Street by Octavio is about how Octavio is not sure what he wants exactly out of life. Although By the end of the poem he is trying to come to terms with his decision, he finally confronts "nobody.", The whole poem revolves around inner confliction and if Octavio has made proper choices in his life for the good of others before himself.

Psychoanalytic Critique

Psychoanalysis in literary works is used to analyze the author’s psychological in literary works.

Sigmund Freud divided three human psyche, they are the conscious, preconscious and unconscious.

Yanita reviewed that “This man (speaker) is taking life as it comes and it doesn’t know exactly what he want of his life. He goes through obstacles and keeps repeating the same actions as before. He looks at himself as a nobody, but he wants to be seen as more. Thus, he pursues a better person.”(Yanita All about English Literature)

Octavio Shows the emotion he has built up in “The Street” and connects to both yanita and Freud when he go

Literary Devices

Depression can be seen as a major theme, when Octavio says, "I walk in blackness and stumble and fall" and “when he sees me: nobody". Darkness is often a key symbol of depression and sadness. Octavio portrays that he himself is walking in dark times and can't see past his cloudy judgement. The last line reflects on how the speaker sees himself as a nobody, which shows how low of respect he has for himself and the confidence he has, this adds to the feeling of depression.

Extended Metaphor:  The poem could be an extended metaphor for guilt and not being able to get away and lose it in his mind. The whole poem deals with Octavio and his severe problem with making choices potentially his past choices made him feel extremely guilty.

Mood/Tone: The Tone of the poem is extremely dark and mysterious as the reader may never know what's completely going on and cant forsee the end result.

“Silent Street, everything dark and door less, dry leaves, and nobody”. He uses words like this to give the poem a melancholy mood. The poem has a mysterious and mysterious mood to it, yet even though Paz does not use many literary devices in this poem it is still interesting and a great poem.

Visual imagery:the long and desperate street could symbolize the deep way the first person has to go as punishment to ridden the guilt he has. The way that it is dark and silent means that he alone has to suffer from his guilt with no one there to comfort him or give him emotional support. The fact that the street is “doorless” is another way for Paz to say that there is really no escape or way to squander the guilt that the character in the poem is feeling.

Reader Response: Octavio Paz “The Street” is beautiful masterpiece of what he himself has gone through in life but as well others. The use of Minimalist words to convey a large message is quite brilliant, when Octavio says in the opening lines “Here is a long and silent street.” many people have to go through being alone during their walk of life everyday and Octavio puts it in such a minimalist way that people can understand it. Many different poems emphasize the loneliness one may feel in life but Octavio portrays his the horrors of being alone and shows a real connection throughout.


What could have put Octavio on his walk through struggle.( Octavios past would play a key role in his loneliness just as anyone's life would depict their past is always around them)

Is the person behind walking a physical man or just apart of Octavio’s conscience(The person walking is apart of Octavio’s mind as he feels is guilt and anguish is catching up to him)

Is there any way Octavio can escape this feeling of sadness and guilt( yes he can  if he would let all of his past mistakes go and try to be a better person today and forget about yesterday)

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