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“Maud Martha” Bonnie Holloway By Gwendolyn Brooks

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 384
  • Category: Novel

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Gwendolyn Brooks’ intense passage from her novel “Maud Martha” emphasizes the impact change can have through difficult situations. Maud Martha, mama and Helen wait on their front porch for Papa to come home with news of whether they are capable to keep their house. Papa then comes home with information that they will not lose their home. Primarily, the significant setting is emphasized through the portraying imagery. The speaker emphasizes Maud Martha‘s home with “those shafts and pools of light, the tree, the graceful iron, that might soon be viewed possessively by different eyes.” The graphic image of the house creates the comforting setting of the home and depicts the personal connection the family has to the house through the visual description. Likewise, the speaker stresses that “the rain would drum with as sweet a dullness nowhere but here.

The birds of South Park were mechanical birds, no better than the poor caught canaries in those “rich” women’s sun parlors.” Again, the significance of the home is stressed though the visual image describing the meaningful setting through the comparison of the homey atmosphere to the artificial life at South Park. Furthermore, Papa is seen coming home as “he passed the Kennedys’/ passed the vacant lot/ passed Mrs. Blakemore’s.” The vivid details of the nearby setting depicts the families familiarity with the neighbors creating a deeper connection between the family and the ordinary setting. Essentially, the meaningful setting is emphasizes the portraying imagery highlighting the personal meaning of the home.

Diction- “Her mother looked at her quickly, decided the statement was not suspect, looked away.” The accusatory tone is created through the use of the word “quickly.” Imagery- “Those shafts and pools of light, the tree, the graceful iron…” The visual image creates a vivid image of the setting.

Details- “She knew, from the way they looked at her, that this has been a mistake. They did not want to cry.” The speaker gives insight on the characters solemn attitude. Language- “‘yes.’ Maud Martha cracked in, “that’s what you always say- God knows best.’” The use of euphemistic language depicts the sarcastic tone of Maud Martha. Syntax- “He passed the Kennedys’, he passed the vacant lot, he passed Mrs. Blakemore’s.” The structure of the sentence emphasizes the tense atmosphere depicted.

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