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‘My Mother Enters the Work Force’: Rita Dove’s Perspective on Motherhood

Rita Dove seems to have an intimate understanding of motherhood and the responsibilities ascribed to motherhood. In the poem, Dove provides strong diction and the female point of view to express the life of being a mother and a wife. In the first stanza, Rita Dove arrays motherhood as a burdensome responsibility. She writes, “But she saw diapers steaming on the line, a doll slumped behind the door.” The mother is home from a busy day, and upon reaching home, instead of having some rest, the poet talks of the awaiting duty of clearing the diapers and cleaning the child (Dove 188). The mother’s level of exhaustion is related to that of a lifeless doll lying behind the door.

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Motherhood is also presented as a boring experience that drains one’s joy. A mother takes care of the homestead, cleaning it up, and ensuring the children are okay. Dove writes that “So she lugged a chair behind the garage to sit out the children’s naps.” The terms used, such as lug, tell to what extent the mother is depressed about her motherhood.

According to Dove, motherhood deprives an individual of the opportunity and time to enjoy. In lines twelve and thirteen, she says, “She had an hour at best before Liza appeared pouting from the top of the stairs.” It is eminent that motherhood is a very engaging duty. As the poet explains, though the mother is busy trying to work out other tasks, she has less than an hour before another task comes up (Dove 187). Generally, she feels that motherhood is an unappreciated and overwhelming duty. The mother seems to be working to meet everyone’s desires in the poem but spares too little time for her interests.

Work Cited

Dove, Rita. ‘My Mother Enters the Work Force’. Writers and Their Mothers. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, pp 187-189.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 27). ‘My Mother Enters the Work Force’: Rita Dove’s Perspective on Motherhood. https://studycorgi.com/my-mother-enters-the-work-force-rita-doves-perspective-on-motherhood/

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"‘My Mother Enters the Work Force’: Rita Dove’s Perspective on Motherhood." StudyCorgi, 27 Oct. 2022, studycorgi.com/my-mother-enters-the-work-force-rita-doves-perspective-on-motherhood/.

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StudyCorgi. "‘My Mother Enters the Work Force’: Rita Dove’s Perspective on Motherhood." October 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/my-mother-enters-the-work-force-rita-doves-perspective-on-motherhood/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "‘My Mother Enters the Work Force’: Rita Dove’s Perspective on Motherhood." October 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/my-mother-enters-the-work-force-rita-doves-perspective-on-motherhood/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) '‘My Mother Enters the Work Force’: Rita Dove’s Perspective on Motherhood'. 27 October.

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