We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

”Acceptance Speech” by Lynn Powell

The whole doc is available only for registered users

A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Order Now

The poem Acceptance Speech by Lynn Powell is about a housewife who feels undervalued by her family and by society. The title of the poem suggests that the character has received an award for achieving something brilliant, but in fact she is being sarcastic and conducting an imaginary award ceremony for herself in her kitchen, since no one else is willing to appreciate her hard work. The poet uses irony and personification of kitchen utensils and ingredients to add humour to the play. She uses the In this poem, the character deals with her desire to be appreciated by propelling herself into an imaginary scenario in her kitchen where she is in the spotlight and humorously personifies ingredients in food who are just as under appreciated as her.

The character can be clearly identified as a housewife in the second stanza, where it is revealed that she has a “husband” and “children”. It is common that housewives are taken for granted, despite the enormous amount of work they put in to keep the household running efficiently. This housewife, in particular, is fed up of being underappreciated. She refers to her role as housewife as a “starring role”, which is clearly sarcastic After hearing “last night’s” award ceremony on the radio, the housewife decided to parody the acceptance speeches and gives thanks to “everybody for making everything so possible” in her difficult life. Since no one else is willing to applaud her, she decides to take matters into her own hands. She metaphorically places herself atop the “cluttered podium of the sink” and commences her acceptance speech. As all other acceptance speeches, she gives thanks to her family first and foremost in the second stanza, but this is brief but this is revealed to be sarcastic in the third stanza, as they clearly did not help her make “this soup.”

The real ‘co-stars’ are revealed to be the ingredients and kitchen utensils, such as the “tomatoes”, “oregano” and last but not least, “the salt.” The personification of these ingredients suggests a sense of loneliness in the housewife, who’s only real friends in the household are food items. In contrast to her children, who simply “growl” at her when they are hungry, the ingredients in the kitchen actually assist her in making the “soup.” The “salt” is particularly important, as we only notice it when it is absent from food rather than when it is present. When it is not in the food, its omission is strongly reflected in the taste of the food. Hence, it is taken for granted. Similarly, this housewife is criminally underappreciated and if she was not around, her family would instantly feel her absence from the household. She also compares herself to “the celery and the parsnip”, who are regularly “forgotten” and seen as “bit players.”

The housewife knows “exactly” this feeling, as she is similarly overlooked and seen as playing a more minor role in the household than the man, who is traditionally the breadwinner. Overall, although the poem is essentially a parody and uses plenty of humour, there is an overbearing feeling of underappreciation, loneliness and frustration towards her family on the part of the speaker. While at the beginning of the poem the speaker’s tone is mocking towards her family for having many expectations of her yet taking her for granted, at the end of the poem there is a sense of isolation, as the only “applause” she gets is the “blue” flame of the stove.

The structure is key to adding humour to this poem. For example, after the words “starring role” at the end of the second stanza, the reader expects something grand. There is a sense of suspension created by the space between the two stanza. However, the fact that the “starring role” is to make “soup” is completely unexpected and humorous. Humour is used her by the poet to illustrate that although making food for the family in the kitchen is not the most glamorous job, it deserves to be acknowledgement and appreciation as it requires hard work and is essential for a household to function.

The structure also helps to emphasise that this poem is a parody of an acceptance speech. While in actual acceptance speeches, the speakers always give special thanks in particular to their family members, the speaker is this poem spares only one stanza of four lines to discuss thank her family, while in the majority of the rest of the poem she gives special thanks to ingredients such as “tomatoes”, “oregano” and “the salt.” This is humorous because the speaker finds these personified kitchen ingredients to be more worthy of recognition than her family in her acceptance speech, as they have been more supportive of her than her family. Again, this highlights that she feels undervalued.

Overall, this poem discusses how society fails to appreciate people for their hard work and simply take them for granted. This doesn’t only pertain to housewives, but the vast group of people who take on the lesser wanted jobs. This is a huge flaw in our society. The lack of appreciation often leads to a feeling of loneliness, as in the case of the speaker of this poem, whose closest friends seem to be the ingredients in her soup.

Related Topics

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59