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Gretel in Darkness Summary & Analysis
by Louise Glück

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Louise Glück's “Gretel in Darkness” (first published in her 1975 collection The House on Marshland) explores trauma through the lens fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel." The Gretel of this poem is tormented by horrific memories of the witch she murdered in order to rescue her brother. Her father and brother refuse to acknowledge her suffering, however preferring to believe that life has returned to normal and thus abandoning Gretel to her own pain. Written in edgy, jolting free verse, "Gretel in Darkness" evokes the claustrophobia and isolation of trauma.

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