A Mother and Daughter Comparison

In: English and Literature

Submitted By veelauu
Words 783
Pages 4
A Mother and Daughter Comparison 35/10, by Sharon Olds, is a poem about the relationship of a mother, thirty five, and her daughter, ten. Within her poem, she speaks about this mother- daughter relationship both politely and negatively. She uses literary tool such as imagery and metaphors to help the reader understand and picture her words. When I was reading this poem, her placement of these literary tools helped me picture an entire scene.
According to our text, Sound and Sense, imagery will consist of seeing, hearing, smelling or feeling anything that the author is describing (Arp & Perrine 24). The first use of imagery within 35/10 can be seen in the first line, “Brushing out our daughter’s brown silken hair before the mirror I see the grey gleaming on my head.” Immediately I picture a mother and daughter in a room before a vanity mirror. I see a young, brown haired girl sitting down as her mother brushes her daughter’s hair. As she does this she sees her own reflection in the mirror and realizes that she has grey hair and it getting older. Olds’ uses imagery again towards the end of the poem where she says “I brush her tangled fragrant hair at bedtime.” I know picture them both in their night dresses, and the mother attempts to perfect her hair.
Another literary tool that Olds’ uses within her poem are metaphors. Arp and Perrine describe a metaphor as comparing things that are essentially unlike (Arp & Perrine 28). We can see the usage of metaphors in 35/10 on lines 9-10. “…she opens like a moist precise flower on the tip of a cactus;” Olds’ is comparing the child to the flower that blossoms on top of a cactus. This can be interpreted as the daughter who “blossomed” through her mother. It can also been seen as something so delicate on something so harmful to touch. This metaphor can also be seen within imagery because we can picture a cactus with…...

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