Analysis of Lowell's Poem, Patterns

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“Patterns,” Amy Lowell explores the hopeful of women in the early 20th century through a central theme. A woman’s dream of escaping the boundaries that society has placed on her dissipates when she learns of her lover’s untimely death. She also expresses her emotions and what she truly feels. She mustn’t show any form of feeling, so she feels as if there is “not softness anywhere” about her. Confined by “whalebone and brocade,” the speaker continues to live up to the expectations society enforces upon her. The speaker also uses many images in this poem, the constant motions of the flowers and water drops, the dress the woman is wearing, and her daydreams of her lover are most crucial in developing this theme of freedom.

In the beginning of the poem, as well as throughout the work, the speaker describes daffodils and other types of flowers moving freely in the wind. Using imagery to appeal to the reader’s sense of sight, these flowers are given motion, and they are described as, "blowing," and "Fluttering in the breeze,” This creates a sense of flexibility. The woman in the poem wishes to be like the moving flowers, carefree and self-confident. In the second stanza of the poem, the woman begins to describe the water in the marble fountain. The, "plashing of water drops describe liquid in motion. The fact that she notices such little details in a fountain shows how intent the woman is on being free and able to move about as she pleases. The unconstrained movement of the flowers and the water manifest a way of life that the woman would like to live.

The "stiff, brocaded gown" is mentioned many times throughout the poem. Her “stiff, brocaded gown” serves as a stand to hold her up. Without it, she would crumble with emotion. She mu...

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...oman in the poem. I hope that she finally found another love to rescue her from the confines of tradition. I am truly grateful that I live in a world today where people aren’t oppressed as they were back in the 1800s- early 1900s. It must have been discouraging to know that a woman’s happiness and freedom in life depends on what a man will allow you to have, and it really took a strong woman to overcome the injustice shown to them. From Amy Lowell’s poetry, I can tell that she had a passion to change women’s lives. The way she describes the free movement of flowers blowing in the wind and contrasting it with an image of a stiff, brocaded gown really helps you to understand how she is feeling. Unfortunately, she had to continue with her "patterned" way of life for longer than she hoped. I, on the other hand, am free to chose my own path, or make up a new one.

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