The poems “A Stone’s Throw” and “The Woman Who Speaks To The Man Who Has Employed Her Son” are about how women are treated. For each poem (a) Briefly describe what is taking place (8mks)
(b) Discuss the speaker’s attitude towards women. (8mks) (c) Discuss 1 device which is used effectively to convey the treatment of women. (9mks).
The poems “A Stone’s Throw” and “The Woman Who Speaks To The Man Who Has Employed Her Son” both deal with different views of women and how they are treated. The speakers in each poem have different attitudes towards women and various devices are utilized to illustrate the treatment of women in each poem.
In the poem “A Stone’s Throw”, a group of self-righteous men earnestly wanted to stone and condemn an indecent prostitute when they said, “We’ve got her! Here she is!...We caught her.” This shows that the mob of men was eager to stone and brutalize the woman. The speaker was part of the crowd that wanted to stone the woman and he felt his actions were justified. The mob “roughed her up” and justified their cruelty by describing it as “nothing much”. The speaker continuously justified his brutality towards the woman by saying, “For justice must be done specially when it tastes so good.” This further showed that the sadistic speaker would thoroughly enjoy brutalizing and stoning the woman because he claimed it to be an act of “justice” and described it as tasting so good. Suddenly, someone interrupted the mob and “spoilt the whole thing.” A “guru, preacher, God-merchant, God-knows-what“ approached the mob and then knelt by and spoke to the woman. The speaker addressed the man in a scornful and disrespectful manner and implied in brackets that “(should never speak to them)”. This shows that the speaker was condescending towards the woman and referred to the woman and prostitutes as ”them”. The “preacher” squatted to the ground at “her level” and looked at the woman and then judged the crowd. The woman looked and judged the crowd and hence, the crowd in turn looked upon themselves. The “preacher” “saw in her something we couldn’t see” and this shows that the “guru” valued the woman although she was a prostitute. The mob of men “walked away still holding stones that we may throw another day.” This clearly showed that the speaker still retained a judgmental and condescending attitude. The mob displayed no repentance or retribution for their actions. This poem also alludes to the Bible where Jesus condemns a mob of men for wanting to stone a prostitute. However, in the poem “The Woman Speaks To The Man Who Has Employed Her Son” the speaker described a relationship between a single mother and her beloved child. The speaker addressed the man who employed the mother’s son. This poem was about a single mother lamenting her son’s lifestyle choices. She was distraught that he chose a life of crime. The mother loved her son dearly and “carried him full term tight up under her heart.” She had immense faith and she set no barriers or limits to what her son could achieve. She “set no ceiling on what he could be doctor. earth healer, pilot..” and this shows that she supported and had great faith in him. She “carried him like the poor carried hope,’” and this evinces that she depended on him for a better life because she hoped that he would achieve greatness and a prosperous life. The father of the child abandoned his family and thus the woman “raised him twice, once as a mother, then as a father”. The son decided to work for a man who gave him “one whole submachine gun for him alone” and the mother became distraught and worried. She lamented his life of crime and bought “black cloth” in preparation for the day that her son will “draw his bloody salary.” The son looked up to his employer as a father figure but the mother contested and wondered what kind of father would give a son “a hot exploding death.” This shows that the employer does not care about the woman’s son. The mother...
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