ENG125 Wk 2 Poem - Running head: WOMAN'S WORK 1 Woman's...

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Running head: WOMAN'S WORK 1 Woman's Work Literature in Society ENG125
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Woman's Work Upon first reading Julia Alvarez’s poem Woman’s Work the reader would think that the speaker is touching on the gender roles in society. When someone states something is woman’s work it is commonly associated as household duties and child rearing. However, after reading completely through the poem the reader can see that it is nothing to do with what duties are typically placed onto women. Julia Alvarez did not write the poem for women’s liberation or some type of feminist movement. Woman’s Work is a tribute piece to her mother. During the first line of the poem the reader would think that the speaker is asking a question to reader however, in the following line it is apparent that the speaker is retelling something that was told to her. The question was rhetorical, the speaker was never meant to answer the question. The person telling the speaker a woman’s work is art is very set in her ways and only has one stance on the issue, this can be understood by “She’d challenge as she scrubbed the bathroom tiles” (Barnet, Cain, & Burto, 2005, p. 790). I found it interesting that the speaker did not quote the person in the first line of the stanza; it is not needed because in my mind’s eye I already was visualizing a woman sitting on the bathroom floor scrubbing and asking the question. The final line of the poem is also interesting because of the use of metaphor, not by the speaker but from the person the speaker is listening. “Keep house as if the address were your heart” (Barnet et al., 2005, p. 790) thinking of a house, an address, as a something you hold close to your heart like a loved one is odd. What would happen if one were to move? Would it be the
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2011 for the course ENG 125 taught by Professor M during the Winter '10 term at University of Phoenix.

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ENG125 Wk 2 Poem - Running head: WOMAN'S WORK 1 Woman's...

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