Alvarez uses sarcasm, nostalgia, irony, and an essential feeling of inevitability in the poem "Woman's Work". The poem basically sets the tone to what is the expectation of the Hispanic woman: to be the housewife, the mother, the nurturer, and the anchor of the household. This, Alvarez does not talk about lightly. She is actually resentful at the fact that her friends get to play outside while she is groomed to be as subservient as her mother. She does not appreciate the fact that her father does not have to engage in the same duties, but she realizes that there is no other way out. She is, to a point, grateful, for she is still the light of her mother's eyes, and for that reason her mother grooms her to be just like herself. However, she would definitely try and change her situation if she could. The essential feeling of inevitability is found the last part of the poem, where we realize as readers that Julia eventually turns into another version of her mother. There is certainly no way out. That is the reason why the language in the poem evokes more sarcasm than compliance when you read between the lines of how the author really feels.
Jul 15th, 2014
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