The poem written by “Wendy Cope”, titled ‘Sisters’, is a well-structured poem, which describes the rebellious attitudes of two bad sisters. The use of several literary devices such as a detailed description of tone, and the change in tone, also, insight into the personalities of the characters and their nature of social relationship, assists in making this poem succinct and comprehendible.The title is relevant in the sense that it portrays to the reader that the two females being discussed in the poem are sisters, and not friends, strangers or cousins.
The fact that the females are presented as “sisters” prepares the reader to believe that they probably share similar qualities and attitudes. Whilst this is true to some degree, it is revealed that the “sisters” are fighting through to their own brand of ruthlessness.There is no direct setting indicated throughout the poem. The poet makes no indication of a time or place in which these sisters were raised or when they become such rebellious sisters.
In the initial stages of the poem, the reader can’t help feel, through lines such as, “my sister was the bad one, said what she thought, did what she liked”, that the older sister is the bad one whilst the sister narrating the poem is the good and innocent one. Hence, the tone in these initial stages of the poem is that of rebellion and to a lesser degree, innocence. However, towards the end of the poem, the reader may possibly have a different outlook on the sister narrating the poem, as she states, “we talk and smoke and laugh at everybody – two bad sisters”. Surly there must be some element of irony in the term “bad”, the poet is looking with adult maturity at her earlier life, there must be a sense of perspective.
Hence, the tone is now presented as just rebellion, regarding both sisters. Such indication of tone, as indicated in the initial and latter stages of the poem enhances the reader’s appreciation and understanding of the poem.The poet has used imagery to assist the reader in appreciating the tone. Descriptions of knives, leather belts, short skirts and cropped locks assist in portraying the rebellious nature of the sister.
The imagery used is a successful technique by the poet because it is easier for the reader to visualise rebellion, rather than read about it.There are two protagonists identified throughout the poem, however no names have been provided. One of the sisters narrates and describes the other sister, and it is revealed in the initial stages that she is the “bad one”. From the descriptions provided in the poem, the reader feels that this sister is rebellious and ill-natured.
Such was the description of the sister that at thirty, “her mother wept and prayed” and she was divorced.The other sister, the sister narrating the poem, appears to be the innocent one at the initial stages of the poem. However, by poems end, the reader feels that the older sister has influenced the younger sister. She is seen as the younger sister, as she describes the life of her older sister, and is then influenced by her as she “fights through her own brand of badness”.
The style of the poem isn’t written in a third person perspective, because the narrator is involved directly with the readers or audience. Therefore, the style is that of nostalgia. Were the narrator is telling us something that happened to her in the past. It appears as though the sister narrating this poem is reminiscing over the different stages of her sister’s life.
This is indicated by references to her sister’s ages such as “ten” and “thirty”.The poem is divided into equally lengthed stanzas of five lines. The poet has not used any form of rhyme, whether it is alternate or consecutive. The length of each line varies between four to five words indicating that the poem is in a rapid pace and succinct.
The poet has on several occasions used hyphenation to indicate that the narrator is making a point and the information, which follows, is directly linked to the point, which she was initially making. For example, the line states, “my sister was a bad one – said what she thought and did what she liked and didn’t care”.In conclusion, the poem titled “Sisters” is a well thought out piece of literature, which describes the rebellious nature of two bad sisters. The use of great sense of tone and grammatical techniques aid in the overall appreciation of the poem.
‘A Woman’s Work’ By Dorothy Nimmo ‘Woman Work’ By Maya Angelou Analysis
Both poems that we were asked to look at focus on the roles of women and their work.
However, the subjects of each poem are very different, and both authors are writing their poem from different perspectives that border completely different cultures. Even though both the poems are about the roles of women, the idea of the work women do, from each poem, is different. The first poem, ‘A Woman’s Work’ by Dorothy Nimmo details the role of a woman in an unequal, divided and somewhat abusive relationship.The work in this poem is not the actual work we immediately think of, but the work a woman has to put in to a relationship.
The title does not personalise the poem to the woman who is speaking immediately, but it implies that she has translated her personal experience to share with others. The woman in the first poem takes on the role of a supplicant, pleading for forgiveness for not fulfilling her role of serving her partner. The tone expressed in the poem is very apologetic for the inadequacy she has shown in her relationship.The poem’s main subject is about the role of women in a relationship, and as the poem is written in an extremely apologetic manner, I believe the attitude of the poem is an acceptance that there is nothing wrong with the subservient role of women.
There is a continuous blame on the woman in the poem for the way in which her relationship ended, even at the end where this woman has a more optimistic view there is still no mention of anyone else taking responsibility for the relationship. The second poem, ‘Woman Work’ by Maya Angelou has the opposite attitude to the first poem.The woman in this poem does not blame herself for anything and seeks to change her situation. This poem is a product of a completely different environment to the first.
This woman really is a slave and is severely oppressed because of her race; unlike the woman in the first poem, it is much more difficult for this woman to become free and exercise personal choice. The racial issue in this poem is still written as second and underlying to the fact that this person is a woman, which seems to make her situation a whole lot worse.The poem, however, still centres on the role of women in an unequal relationship, even though in this case the relationship is not with one person in particular. The poem tells the reader of the work this woman has to do and the excruciating pace in which she has to do it.
The second part of this poem is a simple appeal to relieve this woman of her burden. She turns to Nature for help to get away from the life she has to lead, which suggests that she has no one else to turn to.The last line of the poem reads, “You’re all that I can call my own” (which is referring to Nature) and seems quite tragic as this would mean she has no material possessions. Both poets use quite different language and imagery.
The main contrast is the fact that Dorothy Nimmo’s poem is written in quite formal, Standard English and has only one shortened word. The poem by Maya Angelou is much more informal; it has many shortened words and uses phrases like “I gotta”, which contains informal words and reflects the difference in culture between the two poets.Dorothy Nimmo uses the word “Forgive” quite a lot, which gives the poem an apologetic tone. I believe that it was intentional of the poet to create this kind of image at first, as it is only towards the end that the poem’s tone changes to a more positive view.
The poem is very negative almost all the way, through, where the reader gets an idea of how unhappy and negative the woman’s life was in her relationship. There is also the use of the word “couldn’t” which shows the woman thought that she was inadequate and is very critical that she could not excel on her performance.There is also a reference to “battles that neither of us won” which creates an image of her relationship being similar to a war- somewhat aggressive, but at a stalemate where neither of them could do anything unless the other retreated. The images portrayed in the last part of the poem are in contrast to the rest of the poem.
In this part, there are references to Nature to signify the changes that have taken place in the woman’s life. “Walk out to the sun” creates an image that says the woman no longer stays in darkness but can experience life in a lighter and more enjoyable way.The sea beats upon a wider shore” is a positively energising phrase that tells the reader that the woman now has new opportunities. This is the only part of the poem (the last verse) that is positive.
The other poem again contrasts with the first in that it is not negative and expresses a positive tone throughout. The first part of this poem is basically a list of tasks that this woman “must” undertake, and there is a compulsion to the woman’s chores because she describes that she has “got to”. The rhythm in this part of the poem is relentless, which mirrors the relentless pace to which she has to accomplish her tasks and live her life.The image the reader gets from the first part of the poem is that there is an extremely fast pace to the woman’s existence.
The second part of the poem is a complete contrast to the first part. The pace is calmer and there is an undulating gentleness to the rhythm. This section is a reference to Nature, which the woman sees as the only force that has the power to help her. She appeals to Nature for comfort and affection, which is shown in the delicacy and gentleness of the verbs, and probably signifies a lack of such things in her life.
She also appeals to the stronger forces of nature, “blow me from here with your fiercest wind”, which shows an urgency and desperate need to get away. The last verse in this poem describes all powerful and significant forces of nature that are “all she can call her own”. This, I think, creates an image of sadness to what is a fundamentally positive poem. However, I also believe that the woman is expressing her love of Nature and the beauty of life, where even though she has no material possessions she will always have the world’s magnificence.
The first poem is structured into four rhyming verses. There are six lines in each verse. The poem starts by posing a question of forgiveness that is rhetorical. The rhyme in the poem gels the whole thing together and gives it a distinguishable rhythm.
Each verse has the same repeated couplet at its end (which only changes very slightly in the last verse). The rhythm in this couplet flows from the penultimate to the last line with no punctuation markings, which mirror the continuous work that the woman in the poem had to do. The second poem is distinctly in two sections.The first section is one large block of verse made up from rhyming couplets, and it has no punctuation.
This is a reflection of the merciless pace in which she has to exist. The second section of the poem is split up into four verses, like the first poem, except that there are only four lines in each verse. The rhythm in this section varies from the first due to the use of punctuation and the rhyming of the second and last lines. Both poems have quite a regular form, although the second poem has two different parts that are in regular form.
Both poems make references to Nature, although in the first poem it is more subtle. In each poem the women are oppressed, and they both have an overall continuous feel to their lives. In addition, the first and second poems are appeals by the women in them, the first poem is an appeal for forgiveness, and the second is an appeal for freedom. Out of these two poems we had to study for coursework I think that I prefer ‘Woman Work’ by Maya Angelou.
Even though the poem by Dorothy Nimmo is based on personal experience and Maya Angelou’s is not, I felt that there is a more powerful emotion in her poem.I thought that the block of verse at the beginning was very effective in setting the mood of the poem by containing no punctuation. I also like the contrast within the poem between the first and second ‘sections’. I thought that the use of imagery in the poem was very effective, and overall created a much more vivid picture of the situation than the first poem.
However, I also thought that the clever use of title in the first poem was very effective and the subtle effectiveness of the flowing end couplets was successful in maintaining the mood and tone.
Examine The Qualities Of Life For Women In The Light Of Aunt Lydia’s Statement
‘There is more than one kind of freedom,’ said Aunt Lydia. ‘Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy it was freedom to.
Now you are being given freedom from. ‘ Examine the qualities of life for women in the light of Aunt Lydia’s statement. Illustrate methods used to protect women. In chapter five, Offred reminisces about her past, about the time before she was thrown into this dystopia, Gilead.
She remembers her previous life and all the things that she took for granted and now wishes she could be reunited with.When out shopping, Offred recounts the changes that have been made to the town where, it seems, she has lived all her life. Often Offred’s memories are started by smells, or by sights that are familiar to her. It is through these memories that the reader discovers what has happened over the past few years, and how society has changed.
Offred starts in Chapter One by using the past tense to refer to her situation and for what the gymnasium represented in the past. The past for Offred is now gone, and probably will be forgotten or changed by future generations in time.We learn about Offred’s background as she recounts her past and she tells us about the situation she now finds herself in. We know that Offred is educated; she studied Psychology, English and Economics to a high level, maybe studying these subjects at a university.
In the days of ”anarchy” women were encouraged to study and become educated. Now in the Republic of Gilead, Offred and the other Handmaids are not allowed to read or write. Even the shop signs only have pictures on, it was decided that ”even the names of shops were too much temptation” for them.This must be very tough on all the women in Gilead, but also extremely difficult for Offred who is not allowed to use the skills she values.
She cannot say what she thinks or express her own opinions and say what is going on in her mind. Whoever is in control of this society believes that education, learning and knowledge can be dangerous. Offred tells us that ”There are no lawyers any more, and the university is closed. ” By removing lawyers, doctors and teachers from the previous society, whoever is in charge of Gilead has removed all education and justice.
Offred also remembers the little things that she wishes she could do now. Offred took for granted the control she once had over menial tasks like going into a Laundromat and having her ”own money” to put in the machine. Offred now is only allowed to go shopping when she is told to, and to buy certain items. Money is not used anymore, at least not by the handmaids, when they go shopping they use tickets with pictures on instead of the coins and notes they used in the past.
Offred misses the freedom of being allowed to go and do whatever she pleased.Under the new regime, Offred is forbidden from going on the subway because there is no reason for her to get on a train and go into the main city. ”We would be up to no good and they would know it. ” In the past women were independent, now this is being taken away from them.
It is only recently that women have been allowed to vote, own property and work on an equal level to men. It seems that the Republic of Gilead has returned the status of women back to how they were viewed in England during the Victorian Era.This could be because men felt threatened and redundant as women became more and more successful. Offred once had the choice of what she wore, trainers to go running in or jeans or shorts to relax in.
Now clothing is strictly regulated, with each person allocated a particular colour; black for the commander, blue for the commander’s wife, red for handmaids, dull green for the marthas, and red, blue and green striped for econowives. Offred as a handmaid must wear red flat-heeled shoes ”to save the spine and not for dancing”, red gloves, a red ankle length skirt and a long red cloak.Offred also wears white wings surrounding her face to keep her from seeing and also to stop her being seen. In the past Offred would not have thought about dressing like this, but under this new regime it is expected.
In Chapter Five Offred is repelled at what the Japanese tourists are wearing. She shows signs that she has already begun to be brainwashed into thinking that a skirt, which finishes just below your knee, is too ”short”. This shows how bad things have got, there must have been a time when Offred would have worn a skirt like that but now she feels appalled at the sight of it.Offred also misses the freedom she once had to communicate with men.
Offred is not allowed to look at any men. We know that Offred used to be married to a man called Luke and she had a child. She must miss the affection that was given to her by Luke and her daughter and also the contact we take for granted. When Nick winks at Offred she does not know how to react, Nick has taken a risk.
Offred then worries that maybe he is an Eye, spying on her to detect whether or not she is behaving appropriately.The men and women in Gilead are not supposed to talk to each other. Offred must also long for physical affection. She tells us of how in the dark at the Red Center the women would stretch out to ”touch each other’s hands”.
Kissing is not allowed, if someone is found to be kissing floodlights go on and a rifle is shot. Even the men are being controlled, they ”have no outlets now except themselves, and that’s a sacrilege. ” Offred must feel that things have been taken too far and must find this difficult to cope with.Men are now ”doing their job.
.. keeping us safe” but this protection quickly becomes oppression, do women really need protecting to this extent? We are shown how different things have become when Offred tells us how men react to women. Now ”no man shouts obscenities at us, speaks to us, touches us.
No one whistles. ” This can be looked at in both a good and a bad way, it is good that women are no longer harassed by men, but nobody in the society can behave in the way they want to, everybody seems to have their freedom taken away from them.Before Offred was introduced to this dystopia she had “freedom to”, but now she has progressed to “freedom from”. The justification for dispossessing women is that it is for their own good – to rescue them from the objectification of their bodies and the potential for unhappiness in life.
These reasons are oppressive because they deny women the right to choose and live their own lives. This protection quickly turns into oppression. It was thought by the oppressors that they were helping these girls, by giving them freedom from; rape, sexual harassment, work, and the troubles of bringing up children.However by doing so they were taking their ‘freedom to’; work and feed and clothe themselves and make their own decisions.
They have also been denied the right to choose who they sleep with, this is apparently to protect women from rape, infertility and disease, but it is really only in place to prevent rebellion and independence. The society has been created to keep women safe from harm. In the past women were not protected from things, but they had a choice to do what they wanted, they had their freedom.In Gilead, their freedom has been taken away from them, they have lost their right to choose what they do, but now they are protected from harm.
Offred feels overprotected by the oppressors ”This is supposed to be for our protection, though the notion is absurd: we are well protected already. ” Atwood’s portrayal of Offred’s memories show the reader how she suffers in this new regime and how she longs for her old way of life; the way we know now. The narrator does not believe this new society to be any better from the past.Offred seems to want ”freedom to”, however she shows signs that the past was not as good as it was made out to be ”when we think of the past it’s the beautiful things we pick out.
We want to believe it was all like that. ” Maybe Offred understands why these new rules and regulations are now in place as she sees both the good and bad points of the way things used to be, but I think she also questions why things have had to go so far to achieve protection for women, surely women should have the right to choose whether to be protected or not. Offred has taken her freedom and equality for granted, and now suffers for knowing that.