Julia Alvarez is a prominent American writer. She has many poems, novels, and essays to her credit. She is one of the dominant feminist writers in America. Woman’s work is a poem that travels through the thoughts of a female like in Sylvia Plath’s Mirror.
She has also written many books for the children including the secret footprints and Tia Lola. She confirmed how strongly the American culture and attitude helped her to write.
Woman’s work is a straight narration of the household duties done by women. Julia Alvarez used her works to portray various roles played by women. She welcomes her readers to value the services offered by the women in society and family.
Her writings compel the readers to think about pragmatic feminism even in the twenty-first century. The issues faced by the women of the early centuries now remain as same.
The poem begins by stating how responsibilities have fallen upon the lady in the form of children’s clothes, floor, food, chicken, baby, garden, shirts, tots, hut, and cotton.
At the very outset, readers can feel like her concerns are trifles but by the end of the poem, we can feel how confined her world is compared to the men.
As a woman, the character in the poem wishes to address herself as a mother. She believes that fostering her children is her primary duty.
The poet challenges the male-oriented society and considers household duties as mean. Poet writes about her household works as follows:
I’ve got the children to tend The clothes to mend The floor to mop The food to shop Then the chicken to fry The baby to dry I got company to feed The garden to weed
I’ve got shirts to press The tots to dress The can to be cut I gotta clean up this hut Then see about the sick And the cotton to pick
Poet’s world is tied up to external and internal duties. Julia Alvarez never mentions a second person which implies the lonely world of a woman.
Poet even feels friendships as an extra duty where she has to prepare food for everyone. The speaker feels that she is stuck with all these daily duties.
She is requesting sun, rain, and dewdrops to brighten and cool her mind and body. She is pleading with the storm to rescue her from her current life. She feels that the nonhuman objects are more efficient to change her present life.
She is tired of earthly life. She never enjoyed any kind of freedom and was always overwhelmed by her duties. She wishes to fly in the sky without any restrictions. Poet indirectly expresses the feelings of women for freedom.
She requests the snowflakes to cover her so no one can disturb her from her sleep. Julia Alvarez exhibits the depth of a women’s solitude with the last line of the poem:
sun, rain, curving sky Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone Star shine, moon glow You’re all that I can call my own.