Monday, June 6, 2016

Ord. Level Literature - Fear by Gabriela Mistral

Central to the poem "Fear" by Gabriela Mistral is a mother's anxiety about losing her child.  This is, in part, a selfish apprehension as the mother worries that the child will become like a swallow and metaphorically "fly off" to be with others, teachers, classmates, friends, and not her.  That the mother is a poor person rooted to one place is evidenced in this metaphor that depicts the child like a bird escaping her sight.  Also the mother worries that the child will leave her little "straw bed" and become "a princess." for if she becomes a princess, then the metaphorical "they" may make her a queen; with their royal obligations, the princess and queen will not be able to be together.  Here, then, is also the expression of fear for the daughter as life's obligations and pitfalls meet her.

Through the use of metaphor and repetition, the mother expresses her fear of her daughter's growing up and leaving her and encountering potential harm. She combs the girl's hair and does other physical things that she may keep the child close as long as she can.

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