Poem Analysis: The Mother By Gwendolyn Brooks

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“the mother” by Gwendolyn Brooks is a poem told from the perspective of an anonymous mother who has had several abortions. Through the course of the poem the mother struggles with her feelings about the actions she had taken to prevent another pregnancy. “the mother” shows that motherhood and abortion require complicated yet emotional choices. The poem is constructed to reflect on a personal matter that women face on a daily basis and to explore what the aftermath of having an abortion is possibly like. In addition, the poem also takes into consideration what the definition of “motherhood” really means and how it applies to the speaker that Gwendolyn Brooks created. The title “the mother” and the first sentence opening with “abortions” (1)…show more content…
She will “scuttle off ghosts” (8) for her children and even “return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye” (10). The speaker has also provided a number of identities for her aborted children. She refers them to as “singers and workers” (4) showing the possible roles they would have played in their imaginable lives, uses the term “Sweets” (14) as a affectionate name shared from parent to child, and even calls them “dim dears” (13) to emphasize that, even though the speaker can’t entirely imagine what the children would all look like, they still held some distinguishing presence. Doing so shows that the children had meaning in their unlived lives and that they may have had a uniqueness to themselves that only the mother…show more content…
Nonetheless, her musings are for naught with the words “anyhow you are dead” (24). But then she shifts back to her fantasy again stating: “Or rather, or instead / You were never made” (25-26). The lines of the poem are constructed in such a way that they show us “the mother’s” slow and steady descent to madness over her aborted

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