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Word Count: 735
I thought you were my victory though you cut me like a knife Stevenson 1-2 The opening lines of Anne Stevensons poem The Victory set a tone of conflict This poem at its surface expresses a mothers thoughts on giving birth to a son Stevenson describes the mixed feelings many mothers have upon the delivery of their first born The final release from pregnancy and birthing pains coupled with the excitement of bringing a live creature into this world at first seem a victory to the new parent The author goes on to confute the event as a victory Using words such as antagonist 5 bruise 6 and scary13 she shows the darker side of childbirth The mother has felt her own lifes blood flowing that a stranger might live The stains of your glory bled from my veins 6-8 That she sees her own child as a stranger is evident in lines nine and ten where the child is described as a blind thing 9 with blank insect eyes10 The mother portrays her baby as a bug not even human In the last section of the poem two questions are asked attesting to the mothers internal conflict Why do I have to love you How have you won 15-16 These unanswerable queries are some of the fundamental questions of our human existence Below the topmost layer of meaning in The Victory is an underlying theme that any parent or guardian will easily relate to Children are born out of the great pain their mothers endure They are helpless in one sense yet they command the care of their parents Stevenson describes the intrinsic helplessness of infants with the words Blind9 and Hungry14 Yet this poem does not refer to new born babes alone Birthing pains do not cease with the delivery of a child The conflict described in this poem is felt by parents of adult children as well All parents give
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