Halloween Party

Halloween Party

by Kenn Nesbitt

We’re having a Halloween party at school.
I’m dressed up like Dracula. Man, I look cool!
I dyed my hair black, and I cut off my bangs.
I’m wearing a cape and some fake plastic fangs.

I put on some makeup to paint my face white,
like creatures that only come out in the night.
My fingernails, too, are all pointed and red.
I look like I’m recently back from the dead.

My mom drops me off, and I run into school
and suddenly feel like the world’s biggest fool.
The other kids stare like I’m some kind of freak—
the Halloween party is not till next week.

Summary of Halloween Party

  • Popularity of “Halloween Party”: Kenn Nesbitt, a great American children poet, wrote ‘Halloween Party’. It is one of the famous poems about childhood memories, fun, and regret. The poem speaks about a child’s preparation for the Halloween party. It also reflects his joy and excitement for that day. The author recalls his silly mistake at the end of the poem.
  • “Halloween Party”, As a Representative of Joy: This poem is about dressing up for the Halloween party. The speaker shares his experience of how he dresses up for the party arranged at school. He picks up the Dracula theme then explains how he tries to look like him. He dyes his hair black, cuts off his bangs, and wears cape wand along with fake plastic fangs. Also, he paints his face according to the theme and looks like a creature that has just returned from the dead. After having prepared for the event, his mother drops him off to school. On reaching the school, he faces disappointment to see himself dressed up for the wrong day. What, however, stays in the minds of the readers is the excitement of the child who tries to dress up for the costume day.
  • Major Themes in “Halloween Party”: Excitement, haste, and disappointment are the major themes underlined in the poem. The speaker gets ready for the costume day too early and he looks like a strange child. It is through this simple incident the poet develops the idea that decisions made in a hurry often bring disappointment and shame. Though the speaker is happy and dresses up according to the theme, yet he forgets to check the exact date of that event. Therefore, he gets a little disappointed on reaching school.

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in “Halloween Party”

Literary devices are very important elements of a literary text. Their use not only brings richness to the text but also makes the readers understand the story. Kenn has also made this poem superb by using figurative language. Here is the analysis of some literary devices used in this poem.

  1. Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line. For example, the sound of /ai/ in “The other kids stare like I’m some kind of freak” and the sounds of /o/ and /oo/ in “My mom drops me off, and I run into school”.
  2. Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line in quick succession. For example, the sound of /h/ in “We’re having a Halloween party at school”.
  3. Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as the sound of /k/ in “fake plastic fangs”.
  4. Enjambment: It is defined as a thought in verse that does not come to an end at a line break; rather, it rolls over to the next line. For example,

“My mom drops me off, and I run into school
and suddenly feel like the world’s biggest fool
The other kids stare like I’m some kind of freak—
the Halloween party is not till next week.”

  1. Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. For example, “I’m dressed up like Dracula. Man, I look cool”, “My fingernails, too, are all pointed and red” and “I look like I’m recently back from the dead.”
  2. Simile: It is a device used to compare a person or an object with something else to make the meanings clear to the readers. For example, “I’m dressed up like Dracula. Man, I look cool” and “The other kids stare like I’m some kind of freak.”
  3. Symbolism: Symbolism is a use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities, by giving them symbolic meanings different from their literal meanings. The speaker’s dressing up like Dracula symbolizes his utmost joy for the party.

Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in “Halloween Party”

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. End Rhyme: End Rhyme is used to make the stanza melodious. For example, “school/cool”, “bangs/fangs”, “red/dead” and “white/night.”
  2. Quatrain: A quatrain is a four-lined stanza borrowed from Persian poetry. Here each stanza is quatrain.
  3. Rhyme Scheme: The poem follows the ABAB rhyme scheme and this pattern continues till the end.
  4. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There are three stanzas in this poem with each having four verses.

Quotes to be Used

The lines stated below are useful while telling talking about the customs and traditions people follow during Halloween. These can also be used as an example for the children to explain the physical appearance of Dracula’s character.

“We’re having a Halloween party at school.
I’m dressed up like Dracula. Man, I look cool!
I dyed my hair black, and I cut off my bangs.
I’m wearing a cape and some fake plastic fangs.”