• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparative Essay on Mother by Grace Paley and dear mother by Seitlhamo Motsapi

Extracts from this document...


Comparative Essay (IB Paper 1) ________________ Although Mother by Grace Paley and dear mother by Seitlhamo Motsapi are so structurally different, they both express a sense of longing and nostalgia through vivid imagery. The two texts both reveal the pain of their narrators, who wish to be reunited with their ?mother?. However, ?mother? in the two texts is used to represent two very different images. In Mother, author Grace Paley uses the word ?mother? in its literal sense, describing the emotions of a child as he/she remembers his/her dead mother. In the poem dear mother, the word ?mother? is used to represent the homeland of the narrator. It becomes apparent that the narrator has been exiled from his homeland, which he misses dearly. Paley and Motsapi used different literary forms to convey the longing of their narrators. Mother is a short story, written in prose. The tone is reflective but conversational. There is no clear storyline ? the narrator?s longing is instead conveyed through a series of fragmented flashbacks, which give the reader glimpses of the narrator?s estranged relationship with his/her mother. ...read more.


This distinction is partly rooted in the choice of structure employed by the two writers. Repetition is used in both texts to articulate the strong emotions experienced by the two narrators. In Paley?s Mother, the sentence ?Then she died.? is repeated twice, both times as a separate, single paragraph. This short, succinct sentence illustrates the permanent nature of the mother?s death. It is a cold, hard fact that the narrator will never see the mother ever again. The repetition of the sentence at the end of the text seems to reaffirm this reality. These three simple words fully express the acceptance, regret and longing of the narrator. In Motsapi?s poem dear mother, repetition is used many times to heighten the emotional impact of the poem. Phrases such as ?mother I lie awake at night? and ?& so I cry to you mother? are repeated between stanzas. This gives the poem a rhythmic quality and effectively illustrates the raw desperation of the narrator. Common themes such as ?night? and ?cry? also recur throughout the poem. ...read more.


The words ?distort? and ?lament? carry unique connotations that communicate the raw pain of the narrator, yearning to return to his homeland but unable to do so. Imagery is employed in different ways by the two writers. In Mother, descriptive imagery is used to evoke a more meaningful visual experience for the reader. In dear mother imagery takes the form of a fury of similes and metaphors, each one adding another layer of emotion to the text. They may appear completely different at first glance, but Mother and dear mother both seek to recreate the universal emotion of longing. Where Mother uses the relationship between mother and child to communicate this emotion, dear mother uses the intrinsic connection between a man and his homeland, personified as a ?mother?. Through their manipulation of language, we as readers can see that the two writers have interpreted ?longing? in different ways. This is reflected in the tone of the two texts. Mother is reflective and whimsical, while dear mother is intertwined with hate and sorrow. Joshua Lam ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. To My Mother

    The octave has a rhyme scheme of abcd abcd, the sestet has a rhyme scheme of efg efg, and each line follows an iambic metre.

  2. "The Plague" and "Beloved" comparative essay

    forced to, but because they finally realized that the plague had become a matter of everyone in the town. Even Father Paneloux, who blindly believes that a priest can never friends and that the plague has been sent by God as a punishment, takes part in the voluntary group.

  1. Comparative Essay Myth and Poem of Sisyphus

    I could also find alliteration in "ribby ridges" (Fanthorpe, 14) that creates a clear image of imperfections in the reader. There is also a repetition of "its" to show that Sisyphus knows the stone as a whole, not only some parts because they had been together for a very log time..

  2. In "Annie John" by Jamaica Kincaid, Annies life is in the shadow of her ...

    Annie's mother pierces many truthful deep words into Annie that infuriates her into imaging, "my mother would kill me if she [has] the chance. I would kill my mother if I had the courage" (89). The beginning of Annie's dark side is rebelling against her mother and becoming free.

  1. Extended Essay

    B�yle bir kadinin hem hemcinsi olarak hem de yasamindaki �zg�rce yaptigi se�imleri nedeniyle se�ilesi olduguna karar vermis ve tarafini bu kistaslara g�re belirlemistir. Sedef Kunter 000755032 Murathan Mungan'in Y�ksek Topuklar romaninda ise konu Nermin adindaki bir kadinin bir kadin arkadasinin bes yasindaki kizin kendi evinde bes g�nl�k bir s�re i�in misafir edisini anlatir.

  2. Analysis of "Hurricane hits England" by Grace Nichols

    An enjambment is also used in the next verse, verse 20-21, ?even as you short-circuit us?, to give it a double meaning and therefore interpretation. On the one side, the short circuit that the storm causes to the houses itself and on the other side this causing of electricity to

  1. Symbolism in The Sorrow of War "

    These descriptions helps the reader imagine how war has filled people with pain and the use of this symbol highlights the tragedy of war. Also, in the second quote, this symbol is used with the expression ?more dead than alive? to emphasize the tragedy of war.

  2. How to Tame a Wild Tongue and The Squirrel Mother Comparative Commentary

    Because it is a graphic novel, the artist uses imagery and juxtapositions to state her points in gender roles. This novel emphasizes the role in females because we see how the human mother and the squirrel mother go pass their life while taking take of their children.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work