Analysis of Upside Down


This post consists of two analysis written by two of our enthusiastic students on the poem Upside Down by Alexander Kushner. We strongly believe that reading vast range of analysis definitely helps the readers widen their scope on the piece of literary works and it will help them to produce better writings at the exams or academic purposes. 

You may read the analysis of Upside Down here. 

Nawanjana’s Analysis

The poet of the poem, Alexander Kushner uses the word ‘Upside down’ which suggests the absurdity gathered in it. Using the same words for the title of the poem captures the attraction of the people to this humorous poem. Upside Down in the poem is a person who got his name by his unusual actions. He did everything in a different way that was unusual to the others. He had no interest to understand things or to learn from others. He does not care about why all the other people work in the same manner which is completely different form his way. This poem reveals that Upside Down is a funny and a silly character.

This poem carries some themes like ‘Do not be a misfit in the society’, ‘It is necessary to conform to widely spread or accepted social norms and practices’, ‘Be ready to learn from others and Be unique but not to be a freak’.

‘Do not be a misfit in the society’ in other words do not be like a round peg in a square hole, which is an unsuitable thing. The society or the world expected from us to work same as them, to behave as them and we will be welcomed at an instance if we are suitable to them. ‘once there lived and Upside Down…If he was told to turn to right he turn to left out of spite.’ According to this proof, we get a doubt whether this person actually does not know the correct side or left and right or whether he is pretending that he does not know the things just to create amusement on us. This name in his identity, he is popular in the city. He marked himself as an unsuitable character to the world by his actions as he turns left instead of right without any good reason.

The next theme is ‘It is necessary to conform to widely accepted social norms and practices.’ This person, mocked and criticized by the society as a result of his silly acts. Because of this, poet says to readers that it is suitable to follow the generally accepted customs, norms and practices of the society for getting welcome from them.

‘Be unique but not a freak’, the theme that gives us an advice to live with the society for human. The person, Upside Down in the poem is an extraordinary character by his absurd behaviour made by doing purposely opposite of the things to attract the attention of others which highlights his mental state. As example: ‘The circus came to town and one day… without delay… Upside Down was funnier that the circus clown.’ He might have feared that the clown of the circus would attract the attention of the people from him. To prevent it and to be there on the time in the centre of attraction he was in a hurry to be there. Upside Down with his behaviour has become a laughing stock to the world. But the poem tells us to be sociable with the society but not to be and unsuitable person.

According to the analysis, it is clear that the themes brought out in the poem are very well suit to it. This is a successful poem by considering the themes given.

You may read Upside down as an eccentric character here. 


Koralegedara’s Analysis

Upside Down is a poem written by Alexander Kushner which comes under the theme of humour. Throughout the poem writer describes about the absurd behaviour of a boy or a child.

The poem is started by keeping a sense of doubt about the person called Upside Down as he is a very well-known all around the town as poet does not mention the probable reason for it. However, he introduced that the Upside Down as a very humorous character who is famous in the town not because of his gentlemen qualities but of his absurd acts as he does the opposite things to which he is asked to. This very unusual behaviour of him attracts the people’s attention very well as he is famous among town people.

The poet describes Upside Down as a very foolish as he is not able to understand a very easy physics principle related to our nature; even a seven-year child can simply understand them. This ridiculing questions asked by in on easy topics creates a bad and humorous attitude about this character or else he is trying to win the heart s of the surrounding people by making kindness in them about him.

They crazy behaviour he has when he is reading or writing is very humorous. Reading from last page may be normal nowadays but writing from end is impossible to accept and believe. This makes it proven him as an extraordinary absurd person. The writer highlights the foolish nature of him by the phrase ‘dunder head’

What a humorous man Upside Down is that when there is a bridge to cross the river, he tries to walk leisurely along the river in order to cross that. May be he is in the idea that walking on a such a very position would be more dangerous if it broke. The conventional thinking may avoid doing the ordinary things. This very well highlights that Upside Down shows upside down behaviours.

The direct way of asking a pair of socks in a box after coming to a restaurant without any hesitation may highlights about a mental disorder he has been suffering. Even a small child knows that restaurants only have and give only food to their customers but this person asks for a pair of socks which is very humorous. He attracts the attention of others by acting like this. Or else he is in the effort of increasing the rage of people by asking stupid questions.

The people came to see the beauty and for the enjoyment by looking at jesters’ show are now happy by seeing those rare crazy works of a man. He is famous and funnier than a real joker as he does these funny things due to his natural behaviour or mental disorder. It is very the role of Upside Down is much better than the role of a joker.

The sympathy of the readers towards the Upside Down is that mental disorder or the natural behaviour he has made him to loss his self-confidence as he hesitates when he tries to open a letter from his own aunt.  

You may read Upside-Down, Humour or Criticism? here

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