Guilt and Regret in Gwendolyn Brooks' Poem The Mother


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The Mother"

Gwendolyn Brooks' poem "The mother" tells us about a mother who had many abortions. The speaker is addressing her children in explain to them why child could not have them. The internal conflict reveals that she regret killing her children or "small pups with a little or with no hair." The speaker tells what she will never do with her children that she killed. She will "never neglect", "beat", "silence", "buy with sweet", " scuffle off ghosts that come", "controlling your luscious sigh/ return for a snack", never hear them "giggled", "planned", and "cried." She also wishes she could see their "marriage", "aches", "stilted", play "games", and "deaths." She regrets even not giving them a "name" and "breaths." The mother knows that her decision will not let her forget by using the phrase "Abortions will not let you forget." The external conflict lets us know that she did not acted alone in her decision making. She mentions "believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate" and "whine that the crime was other than mine." The speaker is saying that her decision to have an abortion was not final yet but someone forced her into having it anyway. The external conflict is that she cannot forget the pain on the day of having the abortions. She mentions the "contracted" and "eased" that she felt having abortions.

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She also sees other children outside playing and wishes that the children were hers. She hears the "voices of the wind of my dim killed children." When she hears the sounds of the children playing, she knows she was wrong in killing her own children, but she mentions she "loved" them all.



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