The poem “Bully” written by Martin Espada uses history in a unique way. The reason for this is because you have to have background knowledge in understanding the events described throughout the poem. Things you need to know are about Theodore Roosevelt and the Spanish-American War. Developing her work, Martin Espada uses irony, images, speaker, and setting and situation.
To begin, in the poem “Bull”, the author uses irony in a unique way by having Theodore Roosevelt’s statue surrounded by people who he despised. As you may or may not know, Theodore Roosevelt despised the Spanish and even led an invasion in Cuba during the Spanish-American war. Theodore Roosevelt was successful in his invasion and now in the poem the people he was against is now taking over a school that was named in honor of him. So this is how the author uses irony to reinforce the poem’s theme.
Furthermore, the author uses a series of images giving the reader an image on how Roosevelt would have been acting if actually seeing all those children of color taking over the school. It also gives an image of how Theodore Roosevelt was on the front lines of the Spanish-American war encouraging his fellow soldiers. In lines eleven through twenty- six, the author provides you an image on how minorities are now taking over Theodore Roosevelt establishing their own culture in which he did to them at one point in history.
So these are the images the author shows throughout the poem which gives the title of the poem “Bully” because of the way Theodore Roosevelt treated the Spanish during the Spanish-American war. Next, the speaker of the poem is someone who is Spanish that used to tend to that school and knowing the features of the Theodore Roosevelt statue and what it represents. The reason for this is because the poem leaves you with facts that have taken place back in history involving Theodore Roosevelt and his invasion on the Spanish.
The speaker seems to have something against Theodore Roosevelt because they retaliate back conquering him which is symbolized through the statue. So the speaker Spanish develops the theme because of Theodore Roosevelt’s invasion. Last but not least, setting and situation is used to develop and to reinforce the poem’s theme by the type of environment the poem is taking place.
The poem is taking place inside of a school auditorium which is a place where everyone goes to observe something usually on a stage and in the poem the Theodore Roosevelt statue is it. Since the school was named after Theodore Roosevelt the Spanish eventually conquered the school changing the name to Hernandez showing the overthrowing of Theodore Roosevelt in which he did to them back in the nineteenth century. He conquered the little Spanish own islands with ease and that is why the poem titled “Bully”.