A Permanent Solution for a Temporary Problem

Topics: University, Suicide, Student Pages: 3 (788 words) Published: June 15, 2014
English 1110
April 29, 2014
Poetry Research Argument Essay

A Permanent Solution for a Temporary Problem

The poem “Suicide Note” by Janice Mirikitani is the inspiration for my discussion on the topic of college suicide. I wanted to write about this controversial issue because I’ve heard far too many stories on the news of college students ending their life. I wanted to know what is driving college students to commit suicide. Along with that, I started back to school after twenty years and could easily see why some people think it is a permanent solution for a temporary problem. In the poem, an Asian-American college student jumped to her death from her dorm window. She wasn’t discovered for two days, and when she was it was under a deep cover of snow. She left a suicide note apologizing to her parents because she had less than the four point grade average. The author leads the reader to understand what induces an individual to take his/her own life. Mirikitani writes,

Not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough
I apologize for disappointing you
I’ve worked very hard, not good enough
Harder perhaps to please you (Mirikitani:367, 4-9)

Although reasons of why individuals take his/her own life are evident throughout the poem, my research also gave other profound reasons why someone might take their life. In the article, “The Broken Generation”, “there are an increased number of college students in North America that are reporting feelings of depression, helplessness and anxiety” (Vol 125 Issue 35). It also shows that the pressure from families and academics on the student’s mental health is a contributing factor. The poem gives the perception that the girl is a perfectionist. Along with the standards she feels her parents have for her she has unreasonable standards for herself. The poem mentions how she didn’t get high grades on her exam, “Tasks do not come easily” (Mirikitani:368, 24). I think that college...

Cited: Maclean’s, “The Broken Generation.” Vol 125 Issue 35, September 10, 2012. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 26 April. 2014
Shadick, Richard, and Sarah Akhter. "Suicide Prevention in a Diverse Campus Community." Journal of College Student Psychotherapy 28.2 (2014): 117-31. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 27 April. 2014.
Cerel, Julie, and Mary Chandler Bolin. "Suicide Exposure, Awareness and Attitudes in College Students." Advances in Mental Health 12.1 (2013): 46-53. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 27 April. 2014.
Mirikitani, Janice. "Suicide Note." Lit. By Laurie G. Kirszner. Belmont, MA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2012. 367-368. Print.
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