Analysis of Rita Dove’s, “Daystar”
“Daystar” by Rita Dove is an expressive poem, which centers on the main character, a young mother and wife, who internally struggles with her burdensome, daily duties, which creates a lack of freedom in her world. Dove’s choice of words lets the reader empathize with her confined life. In this poem, irony exists for the mere fact that from birth to adulthood the female population is brought up to feel fulfilled by simply becoming a wife and mother; however, this poem describes the monotonous duties and the joyless bond that can be between husband and wife. As the poem opens, Dove begins with a metaphor that entertains the idea of exhaustion from motherhood and managing the household. “But she saw diapers steaming on the line, a doll slumped behind the door” (Dove 896), the author offers this line to serve as a mirror image of the main character herself. To regain her composure, she finds a relaxing place behind the garage and the littlest objects such as “the pinched armor of a vanished cricket” or “a floating maple leaf” (Dove 896) serve as a simple pleasure and peace. “When she closed her eyes she’d see only her own vivid blood” in other words, she feels alive and free when she is in complete silence and isolation. The very location of her “safe-place” shows the loyalty to her family because she is close enough in case of need; however, she is still cherishing her time alone. The one hour of escape proves to give her the motivation to continue her every day responsibilities. The main character’s daughter, Liza, intrudes upon her rejuvenation period with a disapproving attitude, “And just what was mother doing out back with the field mice?” (Dove 896) Her young daughter could not fathom why her mother would rather be outside in nature than to keep the household running smoothly. The main character’s reply reflects her need for freedom by responding, “Why...
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