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The Mother Essay, Research Paper

Abortion is defined as a premature birth occurring before the fetus can survive; an induced expulsion of a fetus. “The Mother,” a poem written by Gwendolyn Brooks looks at abortion from a different point of view. This is a poem that deals with the sequence of emotions that a woman may go through after she has had an abortion. The images of the typical children events go through her mind. This woman, the mother, is being tortured by these images of what might have been; she also has overwhelming regret plaguing her mind.

As if the trauma of being pregnant isn’t enough for a woman, the memories of her abortion can only torture her. “Abortions will not let you forget,” is a clear statement that she does not enjoy knowing that she had an abortion. To know that she has killed her own child is the worst thing that a mother may endure. “You remember the children that you did not get.” She thinks of them as if she really did not want to abort her children. They have taken over her mind and senses, “I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed children.” This is an example that shows the ridicule that she endures.

As the poem goes on the impression of regret sets in. “If I stole your births and your names, your straight baby tears and your games, your stilted or lovely loves, your tumults, your marriages, aches, and your deaths, if I poisoned the beginnings of your breaths, believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate.” She notices the things that her children will not go through, but she wants the children to know that she really did not mean to hurt them. On the other hand she knows that the abortion is a crime that she has committed against her own children, “Though why should I whine, whine that the crime was other than mine?” Regret is something powerful that has taken over her thoughts and it is going to be there for all eternity.

“The Mother” by Gwendolyn Brooks is a poem that everyone can get something out of, whether you are for or against abortion. The way that she brings up such vivid images of everyday children habits that people usually wouldn’t pay any attention, “You will never wind up the sucking-thumb or scuttle off ghosts that come.” In the end she does pledge her love for her dead children, even though she admits she knew them “faintly.” She is a regretful mother that understands her mistakes and knows that she has committed a crime against herself as well as against her children. She is an example of many modern day females.


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