Free Analysis of the Poem “The Mother” Essay Sample

The theme of abortions is one of the most disputable among people, involved in different professional areas, among women and men and it is considered to be a rhetorical question to the nowadays humanity. There are different pros and cons of the abortions, which are represented in different works of art. As an example it is possible to consider “The mother” by Gwendolyn Brooks. This poem integrates the loss and the attempt of the mother to revivify her children, who were not given a birth but have already been alive. Author makes an emphasis on the fact that the death of the children, caused by the abortion, has been the conscious choice of their mother. Author represents the dilemma between the mother’s acknowledgement of the death of the children before they have been provided a chance of experiencing all positive and negative aspects of the human life and her love to the children, whom she has never seen and who have never been alive.

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The main meaning of the poem is the representation of the inner feelings of the women, who has experienced abortions due to some reasons and who regrets about her decision. Author does not make any direct suggestions for the readers and there is no direct or indirect criticism of the women because every situation in the life is individual and nobody is given a right of criticizing or adoring such females.

In order to reveal meaning of the poem and of its main idea, author has applied the following techniques- personification - “Abortions will not let you forget”; tension between mother and abortion - dialectics in the poem. Also, author has applied the reversal in the poem- “You remember the children you got that you did not get” and there is a paradox in combining the word ‘re-member’ with abortion, which is a dismembering action.

In the following lines: “The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair,  / The singers and workers that never handled the air” author has insisted on the contrast between the potential lives and fetuses and has compared the features inherent to human being with the unhuman features of an embryo. There is some uncertainness in the poem - author has paid an attention to the negative image of dump just-born baby animals and the positive feature of the new life has been represented in the light of potential singers and workers. The phrase of the berthing the air has been included into the poem for the shift of responsibility from the mother to the not born children, who were to breathe.

Using of the word ‘never’ has been applied for setting the absolute-parallel structure. Author has used the enjambment, while breaking the line with an emphasis “Them not being there”. Also different degrees of badness have been represented by the author- the false duality between such issues as beat and neglect, silencing and bribery, which cannot be also considered as positive issues.

The intense irony has been used by the author in the following lines “You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh, / Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye.” In the first line, author compared the speaker with the wicked witch and in the second , the mothers’ love is a positive image, aimed to make the children live again by creating their images in the mind of the mother.

Breaking the rhyme scheme in the “I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed children” has been done by the author in order to attract additional attention to its essence. Common meaning of the world ‘contracted’ refers to killing someone, but in this case it also refers to the abortions pain. Another meaning of the word ‘Ease’ implies weaning. It is possible to assume that contraction and ease cannot be related issues, but in the case of abortions this is combined by the author in order to stress on the pain of the mother.

The last issue, which deserves additional attention is the end of the poem- “all” -  author is tending to stress that even if the mother has made a rational decisions while making abortions, she still has got the feelings and emotions, related to her not born kids. She is still a mother, but she has never held her kids, and the word ‘all’ in this case is inherent to the kids, love and imagination, because she constantly creates the images of her babies in her mind and loves them.

The main focus of the poem is made not on the action of the character but on the impacts of such action and on the feelings and expressions, caused by the action. More than that, no persons, places or things are described in the poem- only feelings and images of not born children are taken in consideration.

The poem is focused on the idea of feeling - author has described the inner world and inner feelings of the woman, who has not given a birth to the already existing lives. The main idea of the poem is showing the whole horror of emptiness in the soul of the woman after making abortions.

After reading the poem, the emotional response is that a child is the gift of the nature and if the God has given a new life, it is to be given a birth. Woman in this case is only the executor of the Gods’ will and in order to prevent emptiness in the soul, the new life should be provided with a possibility of experiencing the human life.

To conclude, it is important to make an emphasis on the fact that there is no critique or endorsement of the mothers’ behavior and decisions. Author has made an emphasis on the consequences of her actions and on her own inner feelings. The key aim of such poem is preventing the mistakes of the mother by the other females and motivating them to feel the whole spectrum of positive while being a mother.


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