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The Use of Tone and Metaphors in Pastans Marks Linda Pastans poem Marks is unusual because it addresses the frustrations of a typical housewife Few people consider being a wife and mother a full-time job in itself and it is not uncommon for a woman who plays both of these roles to feel overworked and unappreciated What is unusual about Pastans poem is the way she effectively conveys these sentiments by the use of metaphors tone and informal diction The speakers attitude is one of indifference and this is made apparent by the metaphors she uses to compare her familys regard for her duties as a wife and mother to school grades Thepoem opens with My husband gives me an A for last nights supper an incomplete for my ironing a B plus in bed My son says I am average There is no emotion used in these lines as if the speaker wishes to convey to the reader that she is so tired of serving others that she does not have time to consider her own personal feelings She may believe that she is constantly being evaluated and the fact that she makes an effort to care for her family is not always good enough In a school setting students usually strive for perfection through their grades and sometimes a student who has worked very hard still does not achieve the grade he or she wanted This raises the question what do grades really measure Obviously good intentions or the amount of work done are not all that is measured Thus these metaphors seem to suggest that the speaker feels she will be taken for granted by her family no matter how hard she tries to please them The tone of this poem is established by the way the lines seem flat and void of emotion The speaker simply states the facts the way
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