American Literature a Blend of Essay

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But the parent whose voice is heard in Clifton's "Wishes for Sons" does not wish a progressively hopeful parenting relationship on her sons. Instead, she wishes for them the pains of womanhood. Thus, Clifton shows how the parenting relationship is a mixture of traditions and progressivism in a different way. In this poem, Clifton comically says that she wishes her sons "one week early wearing a white skirt," although she adds a seriousness to her poem when she writes: "let them think they have accepted / arrogance in the universe, / then bring them to gynecologists / not unlike themselves" (Plath). When reading this last line, readers can understand that Clifton's wish for her sons is a sort of gift, a new kin of progressivism. Instead of raising them the way she was raised, she wants them to understand woman and women's plight in order to bring about a new era of equality.

Finally, Lorde's "Black Mother Woman" presents a picture of how even a traditional upbringing can lead to a progressive attitude. Although Lorde's narrator says that she "cannot recall [her mother] gentle," she states that she has "peeled away [her mother's] anger / down to its core of love." She even goes as far as to say that she is "a dark temple where [her mother's] true spirit rises." Thus, in this poem, Lorde presents the image of a woman who takes control of her own past and becomes stronger through it. She is not progressive in the way she parents her child, but uses a blend of progressivism and tradition in the way that she allows her childhood to affect her.

Thus, in these three works, the theme of parents and children in literature is continued in a unique way. Showing their modernism, these four female authors show how the parent-child relationship is changing, bringing together a blend of progressivism and tradition. Because of this, readers are encouraged to think about the way that they parent their children and how they can use their own…

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