The poem “Exile” by Julia Alvarez dramatizes the conflicts of a young girl’s family’s escape from an oppressive dictatorship in the Dominican Republic to the freedom of the United States. The setting of this poem starts in the city of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, which was renamed for the brutal dictator Rafael Trujillo; however, it eventually changes to New York when the family succeeds to escape. The speaker is a young girl who is unsophisticated to the world; therefore, she does not know what is happening to her family, even though she surmises that something is wrong. The author uses an extended metaphor throughout the poem to compare “swimming” and escaping the Dominican Republic. Through the line “A hurried bag, allowing one toy a piece,” (13) it feels as if the family were exiled or forced to leave its country. The title of the poem “Exile,” informs the reader that there was no choice for the family but to leave the Dominican Republic, but certain words and phrases reiterate the title. In this poem, the speaker expresser her feeling about fleeing her home and how isolated she feels in the United States.
Her family life is depicted with contradictions of order and chaos, love and animosity, conventionality and avant-garde. Although the underlying story of her father’s dark secret was troubling, it lends itself to a better understanding of the family dynamics and what was normal for her family. The author doesn’t seem to suggest that her father’s behavior was acceptable or even tolerable. However, the ending of this excerpt leaves the reader with an undeniable sense that the author felt a connection to her father even if it wasn’t one that was desirable. This is best understood with her reaction to his suicide when she states, “But his absence resonated retroactively, echoing back through all the time I knew him. Maybe it was the converse of the way amputees feel pain in a missing limb.” (pg. 399)
was no mother figure spoke of, just her father, which she lived with alone other then
...eful to show us, the narrator is not the only self-centered, melodramatic member of this family. Given the family history, we can be fairly sure that things will soon be back to normal. The narrator will move back home, and the family, welcoming the diversion, will no doubt find a way of turning her homecoming into a new round of excitement.
Not for Ourselves Alone delved into Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Station’s relationship with their parents, however, primary focus directly integrated on their strong willed fathers. Susan B. Anthony did not marry; however, Elizabeth Cody Stanton did and found herself surrounded by family and often times tied down. Nonetheless, there were brief clips of the economical tough times and their religious partialities.
Previously, the narrator has intimated, “She had all her life long been accustomed to harbor thoughts and emotions which never voiced themselves. They had never taken the form of struggles. They belonged to her and were her own.” Her thoughts and emotions engulf her, but she does not “struggle” with them. They “belonged to her and were her own.” She does not have to share them with anyone; conversely, she must share her life and her money with her husband and children and with the many social organizations and functions her role demands.
The beginning of the novel portrays Mother as what would have been considered the normal housewife. She cooked, cleaned, cared for her child, and pleased her husband. But during her husband’s absence, she gained some independence, taking over his work duties. Upon Father’s return, it is evident that the woman he has come back to is a changed woman and Mother and Father’s relationship changes drastically. He notices on their bedside table, pamphlets by Emma Goldman, an anarchist revolutionary advocating equality between men and women. This shows Mother’s interest in women’s rights and her independence when it came to her thoughts. Mother seems to grow more open intellectually and sexually, which irritates Father as she is straying from the...
...ther is losing her daughter to time and circumstance. The mother can no longer apply the word “my” when referring to the daughter for the daughter has become her own person. This realization is a frightening one to the mother who then quickly dives back into her surreal vision of the daughter now being a new enemy in a world already filled with evils. In this way it is easier for the mother to acknowledge the daughter as a threat rather than a loss. However, this is an issue that Olds has carefully layered beneath images of war, weapons, and haircuts.
Although this story is told in the third person, the reader’s eyes are strictly controlled by the meddling, ever-involved grandmother. She is never given a name; she is just a generic grandmother; she could belong to anyone. O’Connor portrays her as simply annoying, a thorn in her son’s side. As the little girl June Star rudely puts it, “She has to go everywhere we go. She wouldn’t stay at home to be queen for a day” (117-118). As June Star demonstrates, the family treats the grandmother with great reproach. Even as she is driving them all crazy with her constant comments and old-fashioned attitude, the reader is made to feel sorry for her. It is this constant stream of confliction that keeps the story boiling, and eventually overflows into the shocking conclusion. Of course the grandmother meant no harm, but who can help but to blame her? O’Connor puts her readers into a fit of rage as “the horrible thought” comes to the grandmother, “that the house she had remembered so vividly was not in Georgia but in Tennessee” (125).
...cts of the mother and the descriptions, which are presented to us from her, are very conclusive and need to be further examined to draw out any further conclusions on how she ?really? felt. The mother-daughter relationship between the narrator and her daughter bring up many questions as to their exact connection. At times it seems strong, as when the narrator is relating her childhood and recounting the good times. Other times it is very strained. All in all the connection between the two seems to be a very real and lifelike account of an actual mother-daughter relationship.