Interview Poem Analysis – Daya Dissanayake

Daya Disanayake’s Poem Interview Summary and Analysyis

I didn’t bring my C.V. Name –
Date of birth –
Address –
G.C.E. O/L five, three
A/L bio one C, Two S
any job will do
One hundred thousand
square pegs
vying for
half a dozen round holes
the carpenter
keeps on turning out
thousands more of square pegs
no one bothers to tell him
all the holes are round
and too few

Details
Subject-matter: a job interview

Main Theme:

The ineffective education in Sri Lanka
The prevailing education in Sri Lanka does not cater to the needs of the young generation of the country.

Sub-themes:
The vanity of education which does not supply skilled labor for the development of the country.
Youth unrest Unemployment problem In Sri Lanka
Procrastination of the education authorities in Sri Lanka

TECHNIQUES

Reporting: I didn’t bring my C.V.
Listing: G.C.E. O/L five, three A/L bio one C, Two S (a list of common qualifications)

Metaphors:
square pegs: unqualified candidates
round holes: unmatching job vacancies
carpenter: educational authorities

Personification:
square pegs vying for: square pegs competing for

Language:
simple ordinary language but figurative.
It is powerful and rich in expression.

Tamil Explanation

LITERARY STUDY

Daya Disanayake in his poem, “The Interview” ridicules the existing education system in Sri Lanka. He describes the unplanned education in Sri Lanka indirectly by using metaphors. He presents the theme of the poem through a candidate who has been tired of facing interviews. The candidate says,
I didn’t bring my CV —————-
He says so because he has had bitter experience where he could understand the vanity of education prevailing in the country. All the candidates who appear at the interview have the same qualifications. All are qualified paper-wise but none has skilled labor. None has been trained for specific vocation. So, getting through an interview and getting a job in this country, is like a lottery win and something fatal.

The second verse describes the education system in Sri Lanka. It indicates the fact that the employment opportunities in the country are very few but the educated population has been increasing without a limit. One hundred thousand square pegs are compared to the ever-increasing number of so-called scholars who are not fit for any specific task. Half a dozen round holes are compared to the existing few number of jobs. The square pegs are competing for the few holes. The other sarcastic fact is that the pegs are square and the holes are round. The implication is that the educated lot in the country is not suitable for the posts in that they have no skilled labor.

“One hundred thousand
square pegs
vying for
half a dozen round holes”

The third and the last verse says that the carpenter keeps on turning out thousands more square pegs. Here the carpenter is compared to the education authorities. They do not change the education system but go on with the same action which has already proved to be wrong. What is significant is that neither they are convinced of the reality nor is there any one to point out this mistake.
“No one bothers to tell him
all the holes are round
and too few”
Thus, we see that the whole poem is full of sarcasm and the whole education system in Sri Lanka is satirized. The proven fact is that there is no education in Sri Lanka and the prevailing education does not cater to the needs of the younger generation of the country as it is not oriented towards the economy of the country. This situation causes the youth unrest but the problem still remains unsolved. Throughout the poem, the poet maintains a sarcastic tone.

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