Marks Linda Pastan Essays

The Use Of Tone And Metaphors In Marks By Linda Pastan

The Use of Tone and Metaphors in Marks by Linda Pastan

Linda Pastan?s poem ?Marks? is unusual because it addresses the frustrations of a typical
housewife. Few people consider being a wife and mother a full-time job in itself, and it is not
uncommon for a woman who plays both of these roles to feel overworked and unappreciated.
What is unusual about Pastan?s poem is the way she effectively conveys these sentiments by the
use of metaphors, tone, and informal diction.

The speaker?s attitude is one of indifference, and this is made apparent by the metaphors she
uses to compare her family?s regard for her duties as a wife and mother to school grades. The
poem opens with, ?My husband gives me an A for last night?s supper, an incomplete for my
ironing, a B plus in bed. My son says I am average...?. There is no emotion used in these lines, as
if the speaker wishes to convey to the reader that she is so tired of serving others that she does
not have time to consider her own personal feelings. She may believe that she is constantly being
evaluated, and the fact that she makes an effort to care for her family is not always good enough.
In a school setting, students usually strive for perfection through their grades, and sometimes a
student who has worked very hard still does not achieve the grade he or she wanted. This raises
the question, what do grades really measure? Obviously, good intentions or the amount of work
done are not all that is measured. Thus, these metaphors seem to suggest that the speaker feels
she will be taken for granted by her family no matter how hard she tries to please them.

The tone of this poem is established by the way...

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The Use of Tone and Metaphors in Marks by Linda Pastan Essay

606 Words3 Pages

The Use of Tone and Metaphors in Marks by Linda Pastan

Linda Pastan?s poem ?Marks? is unusual because it addresses the frustrations of a typical housewife. Few people consider being a wife and mother a full-time job in itself, and it is not uncommon for a woman who plays both of these roles to feel overworked and unappreciated.
What is unusual about Pastan?s poem is the way she effectively conveys these sentiments by the use of metaphors, tone, and informal diction.

The speaker?s attitude is one of indifference, and this is made apparent by the metaphors she uses to compare her family?s regard for her duties as a wife and mother to school grades. The poem opens with, ?My husband gives me an A for last night?s…show more content…

This raises the question, what do grades really measure? Obviously, good intentions or the amount of work done are not all that is measured. Thus, these metaphors seem to suggest that the speaker feels she will be taken for granted by her family no matter how hard she tries to please them.

The tone of this poem is established by the way the lines seem flat and void of emotion. The speaker simply states the facts the way she sees them, with no reference to her feelings or thoughts. Most of the words are dull and ordinary, much like the attitude of the speaker. Pastan?s choice of informal diction is effective in comparing the differences of the lifestyles led by housewives versus the lifestyles led by other women. The last line of the poem (?Wait ?til they learn I?m dropping out.?) leads the reader to assume that she has evaluated her lifestyle, and has decided to change it. The fact that she is ?dropping out? could have a variety of meanings. She could decide to seek employment and start her own career, or she could be making a more radical change, such as leaving her family altogether to start a life of her own. There is even a possibility that she may remain a housewife, but change the way she caters to her family. Despite all of the possibilities, Pastan?s true intention is to convey to the

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