My Window of Sadie and Maud
This poem dramatizes the conflict between social acceptance and true happiness, specifically with its ironic depiction of the lives of two sisters. The theme of this poem is based on its structure and symbolism. The poet is using this poem to show her feelings regarding the limited opportunities that were available for African American women in this society. The narrative four quatrain and one sestet stanza tells us the story of these two contrasting sisters. Maud follows society’s expectations of her and goes off to college, and Sadie follows only her own rules not allowing anyone to dictate her life. Neither woman experiences both mental and physical fulfillment, only one of the other. The poet uses diction, imagery, figures of speech, and syntax to convey her portrayal of the two sisters.
The poem begins “Maud went to college” (1). This tells us early on that Maud conforms to society’s rules and standards. Then the distinction is made between Maud and Sadie with the second line. “Sadie stayed at home” (2). Brooks uses slang dialect to refer to Sadie, “the livingest chits” (7) and “her last so-long” (15). The poet also uses various types of realistic imagery, “thin”, “brown”(20), “Sadie said”(13), “Sadie scraped life” (3), these are all used for sight, sound, and touch. The metaphors for each sister paint the sadder picture. Maud is called “a thin brown mouse”(20), and Sadie’s life experience is compared combing hair (3-6). The poet uses the repeating of “Sadie” and “Maud” to set the rhythm and shift the focus from one subject to the other. All the rhymes are perfect and occur at the end of a line. The major metric patterns are dimeter, and trimester, which are used in several stanzas. There are only a few lines which contain tetrameter, and pentameter. Most of the lines use a variety of different feet, and adds to an odd syntax.
The poem... [continues]
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