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An Analysis of the Poem Dusting by Julia Alvarez

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Sarah Winn
11/13/12
Literature
Mrs. Wiggins “Dusting” Julia Alvarez
In the poem “Dusting” written by Julia Alvarez, a young girl tries to leave imprints on the dusty objects in her house in which later are wiped away by her mother. ‘Each morning I wrote my name / on the dusty cabinet, then crossed / the dining table in script, scrawled / in capitals on the back of chairs, / practicing signatures like scales” (1-5) I believe that the author is trying to compare the young girl’s aspirations to her mother’s. In life, the girl wishes to leave her imprint on the world. Her goals are larger than life itself, and they refuse to break. No matter how often her mother wiped away the smudged fingerprints, they would always reappear. In the poem, the girls shows us how she “refused with every mark / to be like her, anonymous” (17-18). This statement shows us how the girl feels about her mother’s accomplishments. She believes that her mother achieved as much as anyone else; her mother’s achievements are almost transparent to her - anonymous. She can’t stand the thought of ending up like this, so day after day, she continues to leave her mark. As a child, your aspirations are wild. Many of us wish to accomplish more in our lives than our family members, especially some of our parents. At some point we all wish to be recognized as something bigger - something that no one has witnessed before. We have a need for appreciation. Ever since I was young, I’ve wanted to accomplish great things. I’ve hit setbacks in school and at home, but I’ve never let them break me. Even when I was little, whenever I received a good grade on an assignment or test, I would rush home to call my mom and dad to tell them. Seeing that look in their eyes that says “I’m so proud to call you mine.” Thats what gives a child the will to succeed. The will to never let those small fingerprints across the table disappear.

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