Linda Pastan And Sharon Olds Essay, Research Paper
The poems ?Ethics? and ?35/10? by Linda Pastan and Sharon Olds are
surprisingly alike. Each poem tells a story with the speaker being the author.
She speaks directly to the audience. Although the number of lines differ, the
appearance and length of each line and the appearance of each poem as a whole is
very similar. The tones are similar, since both are reflective and somewhat
pensive. The language and diction in both poems are simple and understandable.
The authors interest is telling her story, and that is evident. Sharon Olds?
poem. 35/10? is a narrative poem about a mother?s realization that she is
aging as her daughter is blooming. The mother is the speaker, which is also the
author, and she speaks directly to the audience. The tone is admiring, maternal,
pensive, reflective, and nostalgic. It is structured as an 18 line poem, each
line being of almost equal length. The fact of there being 18 lines may
symbolize youth, as the age 18 is the prime of one?s youth. The movement of
the poem is very fluid. It?s chronological flow takes the audience from the
beginning when the mother notices her daughter, to where she wonder?s why they
bloom as mother?s begin to wilt, to finally understanding that it is to
replace the mother. The title simply represents the ages, the mother being 35
and the daughter being 10. The diction helps emphasize the difference between
the mother and daughter. Words such as gray, silver, dry pitting, and dud
represents the mother, while silken, flower, full, and round represent the
daughter. There is imagery that helps the audience see the difference as well as
the mother in the mirror. For example, in lines 9-10. she opens like a small
pale flower on the tip of a cactus. or ?last chances to bear a child are
falling through my body, the duds among them. This deepens the contrast.
Linda Pastan?s poem. Ethics? is a narrative poem as well. The author, who
is the speaker, tells the audience a story of her lesson of ethics. As a young
woman, she had an Ethics class, but in the end the lesson the teacher attempted
to teach, was only learned by the author?s own experience. The tone is
reflective, pensive and appreciative. The poem consists of 25 almost equal
lines. The poem moves fluidly as the author herself changes from the beginning
to the end. It develops from her memory of the class, to years later in a museum
where she remembers her discussion of the class years before. It chronologically
tells the audience that she goes from not knowing what to do, to understanding
the real answer. The title ?Ethics? shows that she didn?t understand the
true meaning of the word from her class, but through age, wisdom, and
experience. The diction consists of simple words that flow. The imagery is in
the description of the painting in the museum, she states. The colors within
the frame are darker than autumn, darker even than winter – the browns of the
earth, though earth?s most radiant elements burn through the canvas? which
allows the audience to envision the painting with her. In conclusion, the two
poems differ in the way the story is being told, but are similar in many other
ways. Both poems tell a story of coming of age, but in different fashions. The
structures, the diction, the tones, and even the movement are alike. Both are
narrative poems with the speaker being the authors.
Linda Pastan: Poems essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of select poetry by Linda Pastan.Linda Pastan: Poems Material Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 708 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 3939 literature essays, 1344 sample college application essays, 155 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.Linda Pastan: Poems Essays Jump Cabling: Connecting Cars and People Peggie Ruth Hale College
Sometimes a stranger offers to help, sometimes a person is forced to ask a stranger, but when the car won’t start, odds are two strangers are going to meet. Linda Pastan’s 1984 poem, “Jump Cabling,” reveals how the simple act of jump-starting a.
Copyright © 1999 - 2016 GradeSaver LLC. Not affiliated with Harvard College.
The Use of Tone and Metaphors in Pastan's "Marks”
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. Thepoem 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 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 effectiv.Related Essays:
Linda Pastan's Poem Marks. (2000, January 01). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 15:07, July 26, 2016, from http://www.directessays.com/viewpaper/16678.html
Direct Essays. "Linda Pastan's Poem Marks." DirectEssays.com. DirectEssays.com, (January 01, 2000). Web. 26 Jul. 2016.
Direct Essays, "Linda Pastan's Poem Marks.," DirectEssays.com, http://www.directessays.com/viewpaper/16678.html (accessed July 26, 2016)
"Marks" by Linda Pastan I think this poem will be forty-one includes . "Marks" by Linda Pastan I think this poem will be Home gives A Better Grade Than Expected If Linda Pastan's point of . "Marks" by Linda remove wrinkles under eyes home remedies I Pastan's "Marks" Marks is a - Vanessa Mitchell. There are tons of free term papers and essays on - Vanessa Mitchell. Free Marks By Linda Pastan think this poem will be - Vanessa Mitchell. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I Analysis of the way in - Vanessa Mitchell mission . "Marks" by Linda Pastan I think this poem will be - Vanessa Mitchell Pastan. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I think this poem will be. 60 Free Essays on Pass Fail By Linda Pastan - AllFreeEssays. My son says I am average an average mother . Check out our top Free think this poem will be help you write your own Essay. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I " Pastan leads the reader - Vanessa Mitchell. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I that I have to analyze - Vanessa Mitchell a daughter leaving home" by Linda Pastan analysis. So I have to this interesting Be this question as interesting. Apr 20 2008 Linda Pastan view of grades No one - Vanessa Mitchell PassFail (1975) and the other. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I think this poem will be. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I you with yours 1 - 11. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I poems of Linda Pastan - - Vanessa Mitchell. Linda Pastan Marks Free Essays think this poem will be. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I 3.Analysis by linda pastan
"Marks" by Linda Pastan I Metaphors in Marks by Linda - Vanessa Mitchell Tone and. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I time Linda Pastan had written - Vanessa Mitchell the women's rights movement had rights  . Way 6 Analyze and Identify the Point of View- This - Vanessa Mitchell. As an ACCA student I believe analysis of business and - Vanessa Mitchell is easier . Interpretation of Anger by Linda think this poem will be StudyMode.
Free Marks By Linda Pastan Essays 1 - 30 Anti Essays. Marilyn monroe autopsy report by Linda Pastan I think this poem will be 1 - 8. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I. Sep 30 2004 This paper analyzes Linda Pastan's poem "Marks" - Vanessa Mitchell. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I Pastan's Poetry".
"Marks" by Linda Pastan I think this poem will be. Interpretation of Anger by Linda Pastan - Essay - - - Vanessa Mitchell. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I think this poem will be. Explication Study Guide Of How To Critique And Analyze Poetry - Vanessa Mitchell. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I think this poem will be. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I think this poem will be pastan ChaCha. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I York on May 27 1932. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I s Marks Essays only from - Vanessa Mitchell. Get access to Marks By Linda Pastan Essays only from Anti Essays. My son says I am think this poem will be. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I s Marks Essays only from - Vanessa Mitchell. The poem �Marks� by Linda think this poem will be - Vanessa Mitchell of Pat Mora's "La Migra" a poem presenting two . "Marks" by Linda Pastan I. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I think this poem will be and better than average grading scale. Free Essays on Marks Linda think this poem will be. RITA DOVE Daystar LINDA PASTAN To a Daughter Leaving Home - Vanessa Mitchell thou mayest in me behold LINDA PASTAN Marks. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I 41 - 60 - StudyMode. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I think this poem will be - Vanessa Mitchell. Marks Linda Pastan Free Essays think this poem will be. She was born in New think this poem will be.
"Marks" by Linda Pastan I Pastan deals with the daily struggles connected with being a modern mother and housewife. "Marks" by Linda Pastan I 1 - 30 Anti Essays. Poetry Analyses-- Part Three - UniversalJournalAYJW - Printable. i agree and this analysis think this poem will be. Free Linda Pastan s Marks Research Papers 61 - 90 - Vanessa Mitchell.
Linda Pastan is an American poet of Jewish background. She was born in New York on May 27, 1932. Today, she lives in Potomac, Maryland with her husband Ira Pastan, an accomplished physician and researcher.
She is known for writing short poems that address topics like family life, domesticity, motherhood, the female experience, aging, death, loss and the fear of loss, as well as the fragility of life and relationships.
Linda Pastan has published at least 12 books of poetry and a number of essays. Her awards include the Dylan Thomas Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award (Poetry Society of America), the Bess Hokin Prize (Poetry Magazine), the 1986. more »
Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.Quotations To A Daughter Leaving Home
When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
for your life, screaming
the hair flapping
behind you like a
Read the full of To A Daughter Leaving HomePoemHunter.com Updates
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
© Poems are the property of their respective owners. All information has been reproduced here for educational and informational purposes to benefit site visitors, and is provided at no charge.
7/26/2016 2:07:28 PM #.13# You Are Here: Linda Pastan - Linda Pastan Poems - Poem Hunter
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 th.
Benefits of Purchase
[to view the full essay now, purchase below]
When you purchase a paper, these are just a few of the benefits you will appreciate.Follow the instructions below to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper:
You may view this document now for only $14.95. This is the total cost - there are NO other charges. The document will be on your screen as soon as you pay with your credit card, debit card, or bank account. Your purchase is 100% secure.
Call Toll Free: 1.855.314.3368
Terms of Service
updated 12 August 2009
Welcome to 123HelpMe.com (the "Web Site"), which is produced by the "Company". This page states the Terms of Service (the "Terms" or the "TOS") under which this Web Site is available for use. Please read this page carefully. By accessing and using this Web Site you accept and agree to be bound, without limitation or qualification, by these Terms and any other terms and conditions that may apply. The Company may, at its sole discretion, modify or revise these Terms at any time by updating this posting. You are bound by any such modification or revision and should therefore visit this page periodically to review the Terms. By using the Web Site after we have made any modification or revision, you agree to be bound by the revised terms. If you do not accept any of the Terms stated here, do not use the Web Site. The Company retains the right to deny access to anyone at its complete discretion for any reason, including but not limited to violation of these Terms. The Terms constitute the entire legal agreement between you and the Company.
1. Web Site Usage
In consideration of your use of the Web Site, you represent that you are 1) of legal age to form a binding contract and 2) are not a person prohibited from receiving services under the laws of the United States or other jurisdiction. You further agree to use the Web Site only for purposes that are permitted by 1) the Terms and 2) any applicable law, regulation or generally accepted practice or guideline in the relevant jurisdictions, which includes any laws regarding the export of data to and from the United States or other relevant countries.
As part of your use of the Web Site, you may be required to provide information about yourself, such as identification or contact details, as part of your continued use of the Services. You agree that any registration information you give to the Company will always be correct and current.
The contents of this Web Site, such as text, graphics, images, audio, video and all other material ("Material"), are protected by copyright under both United States and foreign laws, and are owned or controlled by third parties that have licensed their Material to the Company. Unauthorized use of the Material may violate copyright, trademark, and other laws. You must retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained in the original Material on any copy you make of the Material. You may not sell or modify the Material or reproduce, display, publicly perform, distribute, or otherwise use the Material in any way for any commercial purpose. The use of the Material on any other Web Site, or in a networked computer environment for any purpose is prohibited, without the express written permission of the Company. The trademarks, logos, and service marks (the "Marks") displayed on the Web Site are owned by the Company. You are prohibited from use of those Marks without the express, written permission of the Company. If you would like information about obtaining permission from the company to use the Material on your Web site, please contact us via email. If you violate any of these Terms, your permission to use the Material will be automatically terminated and you must immediately destroy any copies you have made of the Material whether said copies are in your possession or in the possession of any third party.
You agree not to access or attempt to access any of the Material by any means other than through the interface that is provided by the Web Site, without specific written agreement with the Company. You specifically agree not to access or attempt to access any of the Material through any automated means, which includes the use of scripts or web crawlers.
Unless you have been given written consent of the Company by separate agreement, you agree that you will not reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade or resell any Material obtained from the Web Site, or usage or access to the Web Site, for any commercial purpose.
You agree that you are solely responsible for any breach of your legal and contractual obligations under the Terms and solely responsible for the consequences of any such breach, including any loss or damage which the Company, its agents, or third parties may suffer. You further agree that the Company has no responsibility to you or to any third party for your breach.
2. User-Submitted Material
You agree not to submit any unlawful, abusive, defamatory, harassing, obscene, or otherwise objectionable Material of any kind, including but not limited to Material that would constitute a criminal offense, violate the rights of others, or violate the laws or regulations of the United States or other jurisdiction. You agree not to submit any Material that infringes on any intellectual property rights of another, including but not limited to copyright and trademark. You agree not to submit any Material that you have reason to believe is false, misleading, or fraudulent, or contains private information about an identifiable person without that person.s written permission. You remain solely responsible for, and agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Company, its agents, affiliates, representatives, licensors, and licensees, against any claim arising from any Material you submit as well as Material submitted by a third party using your computer or IP address.
Any Material you submit to the Web Site is and will be treated as non-confidential and non-proprietary. The Company has no obligation of any kind with respect to submitted Material. The Company reserves the right, but has no obligation, to remove, edit, or reject any Material it deems inappropriate. You agree that modification of the Material by the Company or its agents does not transfer ownership of said Material.
You warrant that the Material submitted is original, has not been previously licensed or submitted to another Web Site or entity, and that you own the proprietary rights to said Material, including copyright, trademark, and patent rights as applicable, or the express written authority of the owner(s) of said rights to use and license the Material. You retain all patent, trademark, and copyright to any Material submitted. You further warrant that you have all rights, power, and authority necessary to claim and grant the license conveyed herein to the submitted Material. By submitting Material to the Web Site, you agree to grant the Company, its agents, affiliates, representatives, licensors, and licensees, a worldwide, irrevocable, nonexclusive, perpetual, royalty-free right (including moral rights) and license to copy, modify, translate, publish, disclose, transfer, assign, sell, and distribute said Material in any form now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose without limitation, and without any obligation of notice, attribution, or compensation to you or another.
3. Company's Liability
The Material on the Web Site contains inaccuracies and typographical errors. The Company makes no representations or guarantees about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the Material or about the results obtained from using the Web Site or the Material. You expressly agree that any use of the Web Site, the Material, and the results obtained from using the Web Site or Material is entirely at your own risk. We reserve the right to make periodic changes to the Web Site, and these changes may be made at any time without notice. Most of the Material on the Web Site is provided and maintained by third parties. This third party Material may not be screened by the Company prior to its inclusion on the Web Site. You expressly agree that the Company is not liable or responsible for any defamatory, offensive, or illegal conduct of other subscribers or third parties.
The Company does not warrant that the Web Site will operate error-free or that the Web Site or its server is free of computer viruses or other harmful goods. If your use of the Web Site or its Material results in a need to repair or replace equipment or data, you are solely responsible for those costs.
The Web Site and its Material are provided on an as-is and as-available basis without warranty express or implied. The Company, its agents, affiliates, representatives, licensors, licensees, suppliers, and any third parties mentioned at this site, to the fullest extent permitted by law, disclaim all warranties, including the warranty of non-infringement of proprietary or third party rights, and the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. The Company and its suppliers make no warranties as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the material, services, text, graphics and links.
No information, whether oral or written, provided by the Company or through the Web Site shall create any warranty not expressly stated in the Terms.
IN NO EVENT SHALL the Company, its agents, affiliates, representatives, licensors, licensees, SUPPLIERS, OR ANY THIRD PARTIES MENTIONED AT THIS SITE BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, INCIDENTAL AND CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, LOST PROFITS, OR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM LOST DATA OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) RESULTING FROM THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE WEB SITE AND/OR THE MATERIAL, WHETHER BASED ON WARRANTY, CONTRACT, TORT, OR ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY, AND WHETHER OR NOT THE COMPANY IS ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
5. Links to Other Web Sites
The Web Site contains links to third party Web sites maintained by others. These links are provided solely as a convenience to you and not as an endorsement by the Company of the contents on such third-party Web sites. The Company is not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites and does not make any representations on the content or accuracy of materials on such third-party Web sites. The Company has no control over such sites, and you agree that the Company is not responsible for the availability of such external sites. The Company does not endorse and is not responsible or liable for any Material on or available from external sites. You agree that the Company is not responsible or liable, whether directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of any external site. If you decide to access linked third-party Web sites, you do so at your own risk.
6. Limitation of Liability
Your use of the Web Site is at your own risk. If you are dissatisfied with any of the Materials or other contents of the Web Site or with these Terms and Conditions, your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue use of the Web Site.
Under no circumstances shall the Company or its agents be liable to any user on account of that user's use of the Web Site. Such limitation of liability shall apply to prevent recovery of any and all damages, including, without limitation, direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special, punitive and exemplary damages arising from any use of the Web Site, including any damages that may be incurred by third parties.
You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Company, its officers, directors, owners, members, employees, agents, affiliates, representatives, licensors, and licensees, from and against any claims, actions, or demands, including without limitation reasonable legal and accounting fees, alleging or resulting from your use of the Material or your breach of the TOS, from any claim arising from any Material that you submit, or your violation of any rights of another, including but not limited to intellectual property rights.
8. User Information
The Company may use the information it obtains relating to you, including your IP address, name, e-mail address, mailing address, and use of the Web Site, if required to do so by law or in a good faith belief that such retention, preservation and/or disclosure is reasonably necessary: (a) to respond to any legal process or third party claims; (b) to enforce these TOS; (c) to protect the rights, property or personal safety of the Company, its agents, its users and the public; or (d) for business and/or marketing purposes.
You agree that by using the Web Site, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, or objectionable. You use the Web Site at your own risk. You further agree that the Company is not responsible for any Material you transmit or display while using the Web Site.
This Web Site contains material that may not be appropriate for minors. If there is concern by parents that children may visit this site, the Company recommends using a parental control software package. While no parental software package replaces careful supervision of Internet use by children, these tools can be a useful addition to your suite of Internet applications.
11. Notification of Claimed Copyright Infringement
If you find Material on the Web Site which you believe to be an infringement of copyright or other intellectual property rights of you or any third party, you are requested to immediately notify us as described below in accordance with the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act. To report any alleged infringement, please email us with the following information:
1. your name, address, telephone number, and email address; and if you are representing the owner of the intellectual property, the name of the owner 2. a detailed description of the Material that you claim has been infringed; including the URL where said material is located on the Web Site, or a description of where you found such material on our Web Site; 3. if your claim is based on a registered work, the registration number and date of issuance of the registration; 4. a statement that you believe, in good faith, that the use of the Material on our Web Site has not been authorized by the true owner of the work, its agent, or as a matter of law; and 5. a signed statement, made under penalty of perjury, that all of the information you have provided is true, and that you are the owner of the intellectual property or are authorized to act on behalf of the owner
The Company makes no claims the Materials are appropriate for any particular purpose or audience, or that they may be downloaded outside of the United States. Access to the Materials may not be legal by certain persons or in certain countries. The Company is not responsible for any damages, claims or injuries that may result from unlawful or inappropriate access to the materials. If you access the Web Site from outside of the United States, you do so at your own risk and are responsible for compliance with the laws of any appropriate jurisdiction.
All legal issues arising from or related to the use of the Web Site shall be construed in accordance with and determined by the laws of the state of the Company applicable to contracts entered into and performed within the state of the Company. By using this Web Site, you agree that the exclusive forum for any claims or causes of action arising out of your use of this Web Site is the court governing the county in which the Company is registered. You hereby irrevocably waive any objection that you may have to the venue of any such proceeding brought in such a court and any claim that any such proceeding brought in such a court has been brought in an inconvenient forum.
If any provision of the TOS is found to be invalid by any court having competent jurisdiction, or invalid under the laws of the governing jurisdiction, the invalidity of such provision shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of the TOS, which shall remain in full force and effect. No waiver of any term of the TOS shall be deemed a further or continuing waiver of such term or any other term. Failure to enforce any provision of the TOS does not constitute a waiver for future enforcement of said TOS.
You agree that irrespective of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action stemming from or connected to use of the Web Site or the TOS shall be filed within one year after such claim or cause of action arose, or be forever barred.Your browser may not support display of this image.
Search Our Free Directory
Please enter the title keyword:
"Marks" by Linda Pastan
By the time Linda Pastan had written her poem “Marks” in 1978, the women’s rights movement had already earned women, among other rights, the right to own land, vote, work and hold public offices (Imbornoni), but it still had not given women the complete respect. Linda Pastan wrote many poems about daily life, often using mundane, common activities as a metaphor to describe a more complex topic (Paul and Philip). In her poem “Marks”, Pastan describes how a husband and children judge the wife and mother in the home by giving her grades for the activities that they feel she needs to carry out, as if the home were a school where the women gets constantly scored on her assignments. By the end of the poem, the woman declares that she is “dropping out” (Pastan 12), and Pastan shows how the role of the woman in the family is still second class to that of the husband and is still subject to the criticism of others.
Beginning back in 1848 with the signing of the Declaration of Sentiments, women began advocating for better rights; their anthem being that “all men and women are created equal” (Stanton). The Declaration of Independence ratified earlier in 1776 declared very famously that “all men are created equal” but did not specifically mention women. Whether women are implied to be equal with men in that statement is not clear. Therefore, the signers of the Declaration of Sentiments set out to correct that by listing the many ways that women do not have equal rights with men. The majority of the sentiments deal with how when a woman gets married she loses many rights because the husband assumes total control over her. Also, unmarried women were looked down upon, and had lesser rights than men. These rights mentioned in the Declaration of Sentiments include the right to vote, to earn and hold wages, to gain formal education, to have equal divorce and custody proceedings, to possess equal civil and lawful status, and to hold public and religious offices (Stanton). Today, women have these rights. The women’s suffrage movement gained them the right to vote in 1920. The Equal Pay Act, signed into effect in 1963, secured women the right to earn and hold wages equal to that of men. Many court systems have laws that demand equal representation for women in divorce and custody proceedings that allow them the same rights as men. More modern concerns, such as abortion and lesbian rights, have also been gaining success. Such events as the court case Roe vs. Wade granted woman the right to safe and legal abortion. Also, many states are allowing same-sex marriages. However, has the complaint in the Declaration of Sentiments been answered? Through her poem “Marks,” Linda Pastan shows that it has not yet happened.
While those rights formerly stated have, for the most part, been successfully instated, Pastan mentions a few more rights that remain unresolved. In “Marks,” Pastan writes “My husband gives me an A/for lasts night’s supper” (lines 1-2), and later “an incomplete for my ironing” (3), and finally “a B plus in bed” (4). These lines deal with the still unequal relationship that is often found between a husband and wife. Traditionally, the wife has been required to stay at home, clean the house, do the chores of laundry and ironing, and have the food cooked and ready for the family when they get home. Furthermore, husbands stereotypically demand sex as part of their relationship with their wives, and Pastan does not ignore that private but important fact. The rest of the poem deals with raising kids. Her son says that she “could improve” (8) and her daughter blankly states that she passes (11). These are all examples of how the family is constantly judging the woman based on the roles they feel that she should complete. There are no expressions of gratitude that accompany the grades, exemplifying that families can be quick to forget the hard work done by women, and even quicker to criticize. Pastan sums up her critique of the family life by saying “Wait ‘til they learn/I’m dropping out” (12). Either the wife wants a divorce or she simply is no longer going to do what everyone demands of her. In reverse, she demands equal respect.
Linda Pastan, herself, went to college and graduated with three degrees. She married Ira Pastan in 1953 and had three children (Paul and Philip). Andrea Adolph, an English professor at Louisiana Statue University, writes of this period of Pastan’s life in Contemporary American Women Poets. “In 1953 she married Ira Pastan and, as the roles of wife and mother of three children became important to her, she put writing and literature on hold for more than a decade” (273). As a modern women, Pastan took on the traditional role of the woman. Pastan herself often said, “poetry is not a matter of knowledge but of emotional experience.” She wrote “Marks” in 1978, just after that period of time when she put writing on the side and became the domestic housewife. Her experience of home life must have driven her to write about the topic of women’s roles in the home. Adolph, however, interprets Pastan’s poems not as simple complaints against the domestic requirements of the home, but as something more profound. She says, “The world of married domesticity, when enriched by the appearance of mature female desire, becomes more than a traditional setting for a woman’s existence. Instead, the home resonates with the life force of conception and reproduction and with validation of a woman’s role beyond the realm of nurturing and caretaking” (274). The complaint, therefore, isn’t that the speaker in the poem must fulfill the domestic chores of the home, but that the family does not appreciate her unique femininity. Every family is different. There are many times where the roles are reversed and the father stays home and the mother works. Sometimes both work. Sometimes both stay home. There is never a clear-cut definition of who should take on which roles. Whatever plan is decided on, should be decided on with equal input from the wife and the husband. Then, when the plan is carried out, there shouldn’t be a favoring towards one side, and a critique of the other. Why are there no grades given to the husband? How well does he perform in his career? How well does he manage the finances? And the kids, what grades to they achieve at school? Are their rooms clean? The speaker of the poem clearly has been carrying out her duties, but has tired of the constant criticizing and grading and therefore is going to “drop out”. A student who drops out of school, while no longer graded, must still live on and work to make means. The speaker of the poem is not giving up, nor is her role as women diminished. In fact, it is the opposite: in those last lines “Pastan aptly uniﬁes the feminine and the female” (Adolph) by showing how the women does her job, but refuses to be stepped on.
Defining the roles of the women in the family has been a constant question throughout history. It is obvious that women must have equal rights as men. What about equal roles? Pastan was a wife and a mother and knows very well how it feels to be a housewife. Her poem “Marks” explains how fulfilling the traditional women’s role in itself is not a negative experience, but it becomes so if the family expects perfection and shows no gratitude. In essence, women deserve the same respect for fulfilling their duties, whatever they may be, just as the rest of the family does.