Writing on Women Writers

A site for college students to write about women writers.

What is a Mother?

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A woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth. 

This is one definition of a mother. Though people all over have their own definitions this one comes close to the universal meaning. In Gwendolyn Brooks‘s, “the mother” the reader finds a definition that is much different but still all in all the same in the truth of “giving birth”.

“Abortions will not let you forget.

You remember the children you got that you didn’t get,

The damp small pulps with a little or no hair,

The singers and workers that never handled the air…”(808).

Brooks highlights the burden of abortion and the feelings that brew in the mind. Small pulps nit even yet a formed human being soon becomes a singer or a worker. The reader meets a mother that never had the chance to experience the life that was created inside of her. Yet the definition of a mother is a woman who has given birth to a child or children. Even the title allows the reader to understand relationship of this mother to her children. Though these children never had the opportunity of living with a voice of their own, this mother hears it.

“I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim

killed children…”(808)

Brooks allows the reader to see that motherhood, no matter what form it is in, is still a title that every mother will hold. Though a woman may never see her child born, or may have a stillborn, or give up their child or children, they are no less attached, they are no less affected.

A woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth. 

 This is one definition of what a mother is. Yet Brooks gives the reader a look into the thoughts of a woman who never did give birth to her child or children. A woman who felt sorrow and pain for her loss children.

“If I poisoned the beginnings of your breaths,

Believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate…” (808)

A woman who is a mother.

What is a mother? A woman who creates life, can nurture or stop it, makes choices for the better of her seed, feels what her children feel even when they are apart, makes choices for her own good; a woman who is first of all, human. Brooks shows the reader a woman who is human, who feels no less than any woman who has kept her child or children, and feels no less of a bond than if her children had become that singer or worker. Brooks presents the reader with a woman who loves and have loved her seeds.

“Believe me, I loved you all.

Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you

All” (808).

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