Ironing Their Clothes and Dusting by Julia Alvarez - Essay Example

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The paper begins with the statement that the mother in Julia Alvarez’s “Ironing Their Clothes” and “Dusting” is strict, forbidding, and formidable woman. Alvarez makes it clear that the child in the poems loves their mother dearly, but they see her only as a figure of authority and nothing else…
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Ironing Their Clothes and Dusting by Julia Alvarez
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Julia Alvarez - Discussion Board The mother in Julia Alvarez’s “Ironing Their Clothes” and “Dusting” is a strict, forbidding, and formidable woman. Alvarez makes it clear that the child in the poems loves their mother dearly, but they see her only as a figure of authority and nothing else. In “Ironing Their Clothes,” the mother is unfriendly and unresponsive to the affectionate needs of her daughter. “My mother frowned, a crease down each side of her mouth. This is no time for love!” The child simply wanted attention, but their mother thought herself too busy to give any to her daughter. The mother was someone who could not be disturbed while working and was unable to balance chores and her daughter’s needs. Similarly, in “Dusting,” the daughter makes it known that her mother was someone not to be bothered with while cleaning. As the child drew and wrote in the dust, instead of being playful with her, her mother only cleaned up after her. This was not a woman who was capable of finding fun or amusement in tedious tasks, which suggests that she probably saw her daughter as a nuisance while she tried to get the house cleaned. Through the daughter, Alvarez also brings forth the realization that the mother is more or less a nobody, just another mother in a world of mothers and parents unwilling to bond with their child. “But I refused with every mark to be like her, anonymous.” Her mother, lacking the warmth and compassion of other mothers, lacks an identity, which the author symbolizes through the wiping away of the girl’s name written in the dust. Read More
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