Abortion has always been morally wrong and in many parts of the world, considered illegal. However, like all issues on morality, there are instances when the bar that separates right and wrong cannot be ascertained with absoluteness. In Gwendolyn Brooks’s The Mother, a mother speaks about her abortions in a reflective manner which attempts to elicit sympathy upon the reader to her argument that she committed the abortions not out of spite but for love of her children.
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The first word of the poem, "Abortions" (1), glares from the text of the poem as it is looks unusual and out of place in a poem with the title, The Mother. The writer immediately establishes the fact that this mother is not going to talk about her pride and joy with her children or even the hardships and sacrifices of raising them, like most poems about motherhood do. In the succeeding lines of the first stanza, the persona talks about the things that her unborn child would never experience. She uses the second voice "you" to make the effect less personal and possibly because she would like to convince herself and the reader to understand the reasons behind an act that society disapproves of but which she did many times. By aborting her children, she says, she has spared them from "neglect or beat(ing)" (5), and the mother will not be hassled by the demands of rearing a child, responsibilities that circumstances in her life may not have allowed her to fulfill.
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