How I Learn to Sweep

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My mother never taught me sweeping… is the opening line in Julia Alvarez's poem and the one that stand out most in my mind. In the opening line Alvarez use powerful word such as Mother, Never and Sweeping to engage the reader and control the sway or sweeping motion of the poem. The word Sweeping stand out the most, because to sweep means to clean out at dirty place, to rid one's self of dust. The poem gives the imagery that the Alvarez is ridding herself of dirty. The sweeping motion continues throughout the poem is lines such as propellers swept like weed under Sea, I step and swept, and, I got up and swept again. The Poet's use of nature is also very interesting, representing nature in the form of innocence being corrupted.

The first line of the poem tells us that the poet never learned to sweep. It also suggests that the poet is a child, because of the tone the mother is using with her. Children are innocent, but are sometimes exposed to things they should not be, such as violence, sexual content and crime. The medium for such exposure to children is unsupervised television. At an early age children are not taught how to deal with such imagery. (Especial in the Time period Alvarez Grew up.) Hence the line "My mother never taught me to sweeping". Such exposure usually robs children of their innocence. It is usually left up to children to make decision about imagery they see at a young age. Each child is different so, the individual child will make different decision about what to do with the images they see on television. Some children may emulate what they see on television, while other may block it out all to together. How children deal with such negative images influences how they will deal with life. Exposure to death and violence at such an early age can be very traumatic for children. Parents act as the buffer between the children and the images they are exposure to. One of the roles of parents is to make sure that children are not expose to, too...
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