Friday, 6 January 2012

The Woman Speaks to the Man who has employed Her Son

This poem is relatively easy to understand. Here is a synopsis of the poem

The Woman Speaks to the Man who has employed Her Son by Lorna Goodison

In this poem, a mother expresses her deep affection for her son. She reflects
on the unfortunate circumstances of her life as a single parent.
She is now concerned about the welfare of her son.
This woman is seen as one, whose deep devotion and dedication to her son
make her transcend her difficulties. Her responsibility to her son takes priority.
But what shatters her now, is the fact that her son is employed by someone
who appears to be engaged in shady activities. To her, the gun he carries is a
symbol of destructiveness and criminal activities.
The conversational style of the poem makes the reader empathize with the
thoughts and feelings of the mother. The reader discerns in the mother,
fortitude, resilience and spiritual strength which inform her actions.

Did you identify the themes and literary devices in this poem? What are they?

Answer these Questions
1. What is the theme of the poem?
2. The mood of the poem is one of
(a) disgust and anger
(b) optimism and hope
(c) sadness and despair
3. Which of these words describe the tone of the poem?
formal, conversational, angry, serious?
4. What do the lines “a metallic tide,
rising in her mouth each morning”
suggest about the mother?
5. “He treated all his children
With equal and unbiased indifference.”
What do the above lines suggest about the father?
6. Why do you think that the mother is upset about the job her son has taken?
7. What do the “black cloth” and “veiled hat” symbolize?
8. Select the line which expresses the mother’s helplessness.
9. Why does she allude to the “thief on the left side of the cross”?
10. How do you feel as you read the poem?

42 comments:

  1. what are the themes in the poem, please help!!

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    Replies
    1. dreams and aspirations
      attitude to power and authority exploitation and poverty

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  2. Replies
    1. The mood of the poem is fear and disappointment. The mother fears that her son will be killed some day because he is taking life illegally for a man . She is also disappointed because she rose this boy by herself out of love because his father fails to take care of his children. Also she raise him to become a doctor 'earth healer' something of worth to this society but he failed to accomplish his mother's desire of him.

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  3. what are the social issues displayed in the poem

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  4. Am doing this subject for the first time and i am self tutoring so any help i can get is appreciated thank you

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  5. i find the poem long so i just think it's boring.
    i really need to understand this poem

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. People this is an EDUCATIONAL PLACE

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    3. dwl at the one who said HI U LOOK GOOD WANNA HOOK UP ;-D DWLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. What is the significance of saying Absalom at the end?

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    Replies
    1. Don't know if this is too late but Absalom was the son of King David in the Bible so here you have the device called Biblical allusion. He tried to overthrow his father to become King; however he met a terrible death. Even though he opposed the king, his father, when he died the king went into mourning for his son. Having said this, can you now see why the poet ends the poem with Absalom?

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    2. A more direct answer re Absolom would yield greater appreciation for the poem. Beautiful poem, disastrously confounding in the end.

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    3. The summary of it all is that he will meet a horrible death.
      In order to study a poem you have to give or opinion or suggest answers and I will now get an idea of where u r. So in the future make an attempt at answering even if u consider it ""

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  7. Mrs dunkley can u please tell me what is the theme in this poem

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    Replies
    1. love, family relationship (between the son and her mother; the abandonment of the father)

      dreams and aspirations (the dreams the mother has for the son)

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  8. What is number four's answer??? Plz help

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    Replies
    1. It means she was pregnant

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  9. what is the speakers attitude? plz help :)

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  10. Mrs.Dunkley what does no.7 mean?


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    Replies
    1. The black cloth will b used to make her funeral clothes and u do know black signifies death. The veiled hat will b worn to the funeral to help conceal her grief especially in the eyes. In essence she is preparing for his funeral

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  11. Who is the speaker in the poem and how does this persona affect our response?!!!

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    Replies
    1. The speaker in the poem is the mother whose son is taking life for a man illegally. She affects our response in terms that we feel sorry for her as she fears the death of her son. Also the personna let us feel a sense of rage towards this boy to know that his mother did so much for him and he chose to disappoint her by working for a man who wish only destruction/death for him.

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  12. Why is there questions? Can't the author or this article just put the answer next to the question? Please do so.

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    Replies
    1. Oh nevermind, I found out why.
      But my name is Danielle Connor (14), Anguilla (dkzc.dkzc@outlook.com)
      Follow, message and add me on Facebook. Peace out.

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  13. what is the personalitude towards death?

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  14. sorry, don't know.

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  15. How does biblical allusion help to convey the theme dreams and desires and how effective is it?

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  16. The speaker of the poem can not be the mother even though that is suggested in the title of the poem. The poem itself is written in the third person, " Her son was first made known to her...she carried him full term tight up under her heart..."which clearly dismisses the notion that the mother is the one speaking to her son's employer. The speaker seems to be someone close to the mother (because of the detailed information she is able to reveal about the mother) and speaks on her behalf.

    Re #9 The speaker makes reference to "...the theif on the left side of the cross" (which is also a biblical allusion) tat points to a young man who had also taken a wrong path in life (being a theif/criminal) and eventually faces his demise (being crucified with Jesus) and in the same way that the theif's mother mourns the death of her son and bemoans the choices he has made, so too does thie mother in the poem who agonizes over the path her son has taken and her fear of his expected demise.

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  19. how does the speaker feel abt women based on the words used ?

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  20. What is the speaker attitude towards death

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  22. I need numbers 8 and plz

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