A Woman's Struggle Essay

1461 words - 6 pages

A Woman’s struggle Analysis
The plague of male dominancy and female oppression has spread throughout time and cultures like a pandemic infection, targeting women. Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” and Janice Mirikitani’s “Suicide Note,” show the struggle and pain that oppressive forces perpetrated on women. Although, both speakers are oppressed the way they end the oppression and the cause of it are very different. Patriarchy has always existed, and it affects women all over the world. For example, banned bride abductions in Central Asia have continued to occur, and the women who resist abduction, risk death, or becoming ostracized from their country (Werner 2).
“Suicide Note” by Janice Mirikitani is a poem that attempts to capture the thoughts and feelings of a young girl before she tragically commits suicide. The speaker is an Asian American female, and so is the author. Addressed to her mother and father the note reads, “I apologize for disappointing you. I’ve worked very hard” (Mirikitani line 7). The quote is an apology, not for the pain her parents will fill when she passes, but for their disappointment of her not achieving their expectations. The girl knows her life would be different if she were born a son she states, “If only I were a son, shoulders broad as the sunset threading through pine, I would see the light in my mother’s eyes, or the golden pride in my father’s dream” (10-14). The speaker wishes she were born a son to her mother and father because if she was her parents would recognize her achievements and be proud of her. It is common in most Asian culture’s to place women inferior to men, and for parents to have higher expectations for their daughter than for their son who had achieved their expectations the moment they were born.

Furthermore, Mirikitani’s poem features an extended metaphor that represents the speaker’s alleged feebleness as a woman. The speaker states, “This air will not hold me, the snow burdens my crippled wings” (45-46). The speaker describes herself as a fragile bird forced down by the snow because she is weak. The snow represents men keeping women suppressed, and the speakers crippled wings are what the years of oppression have done to her already. The speaker repeats these words several times, “not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not strong enough” (3, 8, 22, 30, 41, 48). Rearranged in different orders throughout the poem the repetition of similar word phrases induce an emotional response to the poem, and sets a sorrowful tone. The title of the poem “Suicide Note” predicts what will come of the speaker at the end of the poem, which is the act of committing suicide. The actual suicide stands for a bigger picture in the speaker’s life; for it is the only way, she can free herself from the harsh gender inequalities that haunt her every thought. The speaker becomes free from oppression, ridicule, pain, and suffering for the first time when she ends her life.
Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy,” is...

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