A lot of literature has been written about motherhood. Wordsworth is a well known English poet who mentions motherhood and female strength in several of his poems, including the Mad Mother, The Thorn, and The Complaint of a Forsaken Indian Woman. This leads some critics to assume that these poems reflect Wordsworth's view of females. Wordsworth portrays women as dependent on motherhood for happiness, yet he also emphasizes female strength. The poem The Mad Mother describes a woman that is going through hard times. She has lost her dignity and status as a wife because her husband has left her. Consequently she is stigmatized as crazy by her community and does not receive support from them. However, despite what she is going through, she is a happy woman because she has her child. She says, "Sweet babe! They say that I am mad / But nay, my heart is far too glad" (11-12) as she sings and rocks her baby. As long as she has her child, this woman seems content and fulfilled. It is clear in the poem that it is motherhood that brings enchantment and good spirits to the woman, and that she is dependent on her child for happiness. While The Mad Mother illustrates the joy of having a child and the happiness women get from motherhood, The Thorn and The Complaint of a Forsaken Indian woman show the sadness associated with the loss of a child. The main character of The Thorn is Martha Ray. Martha is mourning the loss of her child. After losing her child, she is described as "A woman in a scarlet cloak, /And to herself she cries, /Oh misery! Oh misery!/Oh woe is me! Oh misery!" (63-65). Through her deep melancholy, the poem shows the trauma of loosing a child. Wordsworth implies in the poem that the woman is in such agony and sorrow because she has lost her only source of happiness, her motherhood.
The Complaint of a Forsaken Indian Woman portrays the same idea. This poem has a stronger indication that women are dependent on motherhood for happiness. It is...
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