The Agony of a Duel Faced Life in the Poem the Clown’s Wife by Johnson Agard.




The world is itself complex where people have to act different roles than their real selves. By utilising a clown and contrasting his real self-Johnson Agard brings out the agonised state of dual faced life. It further draws the reader towards the reality of life where no one can judge the book by its cover. The person one behold may be not the actual person; the real self can be totally different from what one expects him to be.

Agard shows the real agony of human life through the character of clown. One expects clown is a person to be happy as his job is to make others happy. That is the reflection of the social requirement. One has to live according to the expectations of the society. There, he cannot be what really is. This sad reality might creep into his real life making him a suffering soul where he cannot express his real self even in the real-space of his live. The clown fails to express ‘what is bothering him inside’ or he rather does not want to express what really is bothering him. He has to bottle up his own feelings to maintain a self which society expects him to be. That is the repercussion of a dual faced life which is an agony.
The huge contrast between the real self and the masked life is depicted by the words ‘throne’ and ‘moan’. The wife of the clown introduces the clown as a ‘different’ person. According to the lines, one can understand the wife of the clown is a very intimate towards him. She senses the difference of him and points out the contrasting difference between his professional life and the ill-effect created by that very masked life. A moaning clown makes a disturbed picture of a person one would not expect a clown to be. That is the reality of life which the poet urges the world to unveil.
The dual life of a person may not affect not only himself but the people around him. The struggle of the wife of the clown to keep him cherished visualises the hard life she leads. In that life she too has to act out a character which she is really not herself. Her failure to make him happy would suggest the overall negative effect of the duality of life.

This teaches the reader the negativities of a life without being oneself. It might be an eye opener to the others to be someone himself rather being a person that society expects him to be which would make oneself and the people around him to be suffering or else, as poem suggests, one has to carry the burden of his hidden self as the clown brings ‘the world on his shoulder’.

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