Brooks Analysis

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Sarah Newcomb
Intro to Literature
"The Mother"
Gwendolyn Brooks' poem, "The Mother" is an introspective look into the internal struggle of a woman who has had an abortion. The poem is very powerful and conveys a vast array of feelings and sentiments on the subject such as regret, love, and disappointment in one's self. The poem is largely successful due to it's tone, which is achieved through the personification and choice of diction.

To begin with, lines one and two state the general idea of the poem.
Abortions will not let you forget.
You remember the children you got that you did not get.
The first stanza of the poem begins with the introduction to the mother and her plight. The first line introduces plainly the topic of the poem. Abortion, although discussed and debated daily, is considered to be a very personal and often private experience in one's life. The second line confirms that this is a personal account of the "Mother." The personification gives one more reason to feel empathy for the woman who is telling her story via the poem. Titling the work mother is an interesting tactic, as the topic of the poem is abortion. Perhaps this was done in order to create a tension and sadness between the mother and the abortions she is speaking of. There is also a great use of the word "you." Brooks is writing to those who have had abortions or will have abortions and the things they must deal with.

From this point Brooks writes of the joys and struggles of motherhood that the woman will never experience. For example "You will never neglect or beat them, or silence or buy with a sweet" (Brooks 6,7). In this segment Brooks uses enjambment to push the idea that there is no longer a "them." The action of thumb sucking, which most children experience, is referenced in a longing way. The mother feels sadness knowing she will never correct the action. In the line, " The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair, The singers and workers...
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