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A Literary Analysis of Brook's Poem "The Mother" (Essay Sample)


Please use the sources provided. There are 2 components in this essay: (1) interpretive which shows how YOU interpret the meanings behind poetic language and (2) research which shows how you use SCHOLARLY articles to lend support to your argument/thesis. You should demonstrate that your analysis contributes to a “fresh” take on this poem. You have definitely something new to say about this poem. Engage your imagination and your senses to explore the words in the poem that “speak” to you. I encourage you to use the Oxford English Dictionary (available via Troy library databases) to discover the meaning of Poe’s words and their etymology. Note that the Oxford English Dictionary does not count as a scholarly article. It’s a resource that helps you understand the diction of a poem. There are two possible ways of how you can write a poem analysis. First, you can analyze a poem via explication, i.e. by explaining how its imagery, figures of speech (metaphors, similes, personification, hyperbole, etc), and symbolism contribute to unraveling the major themes of a poem. A successful explication should discover how each part of a poem contributes to its overall meaning. Your goal as a writer is to shed new light on the meanings that the poet wanted to share with the reader. Let your writing be a process of discovery and enjoyment despite any difficulties that you encounter. Please, see an example of a student’s explication of a poem in your textbook. • Starting with the title of the poem proceed from the first lines to the end. • Read each line closely and analyze the details of the poem. • Show how each of the literary devices that you analyze sheds new light on the subject matter of the poem. Second, you can approach this assignment by writing an in-depth analysis of the poem. Instead of examining and explaining several aspects of this poem, you can focus and analyze one such aspect. For example, you can analyze only the use of imagery, symbolism, or diction in the poem. In your analysis, you will focus only on a single, manageable element of this poem. Please, see an example of a student’s analysis of a poem in your textbook. • Focus on a single, manageable element of a poem, such as symbolism, imagery, or figurative language • Show how this element contributes to the meaning of the entire poem. • Support your claim about this element with specific examples from the poem. Make sure that you use literary terms throughout your literary analysis essay. I expect you to use the following terms at a minimum: protagonist, theme, narrator, metaphor, simile, point of view, imagery, symbolism, connotation, denotation, diction, personification, etc. Use these terms as you see fit your analysis. An essay that does not make us of the literary terms discussed in class will be graded down. MLA Format Your paper must be typed using Times New Roman 12 font. It should be double-spaced throughout. It is crucial that you quote from the poem to support your thesis and ideas in your essay. Each quote that you use should be correctly integrated within your essay following the rules of proper punctuation, mechanics, and the MLA style. An essay that does not use any quotes from the text of the poem will be graded down. Your paper must have an MLA Works Cited page with at least 3 scholarly articles. See your textbook and Writer’s Reference for the correct MLA citations and references. What you’ll be graded upon: 15% Introduction: You establish a context for the significance of your thesis in regard to the literary work as a whole. How does your argument contribute to understanding the author’s major literary/thematic concerns? What can other readers learn from your analysis? How does your analysis/critique fit in with other critical responses of the author/literary work? 15% Thesis: You state your main point (or argument) in 1 sentence. The thesis is the culmination of your introduction. 30% Organization. Your essay should follow that of typical literary critiques: Since your focus must be on analyzing some literary motif, theme, or a combination of literary elements (such as symbolism, character, setting, etc.), your essay must contain well-structured supporting paragraphs that contain a topic sentence, quotes from the primary text, at least one quote from three different sources, an explanation/discussion of the significance of each quote you use in relation to your thesis, and a concluding sentence or two that situates the entire paragraph in relation to the thesis. Your thesis will focus on a critical analysis of the primary text, so your supporting paragraphs should contain quotes from the text that illustrate your thesis/argument; in addition, you should include at least one quote from three different secondary sources to support your argument. Do not simply sprinkle random quotes into your paper and then ignore them; your supporting paragraphs should be organized around each of the quotes you use, explaining the significance of the quotes and why (or how) they illustrate your main point, but you also need to make sure that your paragraphs contain strong transitions and at least six (or more) sentences. 10% Conclusion: Regardless of the argument you make, you want a conclusion that avoids summarizing what you’ve just said, and please avoid writing, “In conclusion.…” Your aim in a conclusion is to place the discussion in a larger context. For example, how might your critical analysis of a literary character relate to the other characters in a work? How might your thesis be applied to other aspects of the text, say, for example, setting or symbolism? 15% Grammar and mechanics: Your paper avoids basic grammar mistakes, such as dropped apostrophes in possessives, subject/verb disagreement, arbitrary tense switches, etc. The paper demonstrates a commitment to proofreading by avoiding easy-to-catch typos and word mistakes (effect for affect, for example). The paper adheres to MLA formatting style for in-text and bibliographic citations.15% Presentation: Your paper meets the minimum length criteria of 750 words. It is typed with a title, your name, your professor’s name, date, course, etc. Requirements: 1000 words


A Literary Analysis of Brook's Poem The Mother
Abortions were illegal in the 1940s, and many people looked down on women who had them. Brooks provides a voice to a woman suffering over the children she aborted in her 1945 poem "The Mother." The narrator depicts the emotional complexity of a woman's post-abortion experience. The character's attitude against abortion is shown in her remorse, sadness, and unconditional love for her aborted children. Brooks speaks in a severe and frightening tone, almost as if she wants to scream certain words and phrases at times. "The mother" discusses the shame, memories, and challenges of aborting her children, recognizing they would never be able to have life throughout the poem (Evans 225). Overall, the poetry not only alluded to the speaker's complicated position, which compelled her to have several abortions but also encouraged anti-abortion sentiment through the narrator's post-abortion experience. The poem's key themes are the aborted fetus and the mother's regretful attitude as she remembers the kid. Brook employs the use of imagery to discuss these themes in her poem.
According to Bush (np.), imagery is a significant literary device because it allows readers to visualize the described objects in their minds. Brook incorporates imagery throughout the poem, giving it a visual representation of the true meaning. Brook's poetry is about abortion and a mother's sentiments in general. It's about remembering the aborted children and the small things that children do that the mother will miss. Throughout the poem, several images are portrayed. Brooks' remark of "the singers and laborers who never handled the air" has a melancholy tone to it (201). Brooks seemed to be attempting to express a sense of desire for those tiny things that mothers are known to be outstanding at. The sentence "you will never wound up the sucking thumb or scuttle off ghosts that come" demonstrates this. Then when she goes on to explain to the child, "You were born, you had a body, you died." (Brooks 201). It is difficult not to feel grief or perhaps a sense of unfairness.

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