Analyzing Linda Pastan's Poem 'Marks'

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In Linda Pastan’s poem “Marks” she portrays the typical frustrations of being a housewife through many elements that are not limited to tone, metaphors, and diction. Though “Marks” can solely be read as a typical poem about a tired housewife, there is a clever style of writing that leaves the reader with a deeper meaning as it is read more than once. What makes the poem clever is the way the author uses metaphors that drastically change the tone of the poem and how it is read. The use of diction ties into the metaphors and gives the reader a sense of what the speaker is feeling as she is being graded. Without all of these elements, the poem would not have the ability to convey what the author is trying to portray and would leave the poem without…show more content…
The speaker is stating exactly what she sees, no reference to her own feelings, just the thoughts of others. She feels like the daily chores and tasks she does for her family are unappreciated and unwanted. The use of constant diction throughout the poem, such as incomplete, average, improve, pass or fail, and dropping out, are all used to create a school setting for the reader, because the use of these words are all incorporated in a schools grading system. The grades are simple, nothing like the real life of a woman devoting her life to her family. The marks she receives are condescending and hurtful to her role not only as a wife but a mother as…show more content…
What makes this poem have humor is the style of writing that is used. For example, the grading system used creates humor to the not so comical situation that the character is facing. There is almost a sense of sarcasm used by the character when describing the grades because she feels that her family has no right to judge her. Being graded is almost ironic because, at home the mother is a teacher that teaches the children right from wrong, and helps her family members through daily tasks. Although in this situation it is the complete opposite, the family is the one giving the teacher

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