Sunday, December 21, 2008

Internal Structure

Sonrisas by Pat Mora - p926

In Sonrisas by Pat Mora the stanzas mirror each other. The first stanza describes these "beige" women in one room who "quick beige smiles/ that seldom sneak into their eyes" (lines 7-8). The second stanza discusses the Mexican women in the other room who "trap smiles/in their dark, Mexican eyes" (lines 16-17). Both stanzas start addressing the narrator "I live" (line 1) "I peek" (line 9). Then they address the rooms. The next lines in each stanza serve to compare and contrast the two groups of women. The first stanza discusses these women with their clicking high heels and coffee which creates a more cold and distant feeling. The women in the other room drink milk coffee and "laughter whirls" these images create a far more welcoming and comfortable feeling. The last lines of each stanza discuss the smiles of these women. In the first room the women have "quick beige smiles/ that seldom sneak into their eyes" (lines 7-8). In the other room the women "trap smiles/in their dark, Mexican eyes" (lines 16-17). This shows that the beige women are not truly happy because there are rarely smiling in their eyes. This contrasts with the Mexican women who trap smiles in their eyes; they are the ones who are truly happy.

The Victims by Sharon Olds - p1006

The internal structure of "The Victims" has two parts with two distinctly different tones. At the beginning the narrator is happy about the divorce. The reference to Nixon even suggests that there was good reason for the divorce. However, as the poem goes on the focus turns more toward resentment of the narrator's mother. “She had taught us to take it, to hate you and take it” (line 15). The narrator starts to see that maybe she was manipulated to feel this way toward her father. Then the narrator finally comes to sympathy for her father when she sees homeless people and wonders “who took it.” The narrator comes to the realization that she had some part in taking everything from her father and resents her mother for putting her and her siblings into that role.

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