Essay A Mother's Displeasure with Her Life in Rita Dove's Daystar

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In Rita Dove’s “Daystar,” Dove describes an unnamed mother’s repetitive and exhausting daily routine to reflect the unsatisfying role that women play in society. The woman in the poem fulfills her duties as a mother by performing her chores and watching after her children, but at the end of the day, feels empty. Going through the same motions and actions day after day are not enough to fulfill the woman’s wants or needs anymore and she finds herself dreaming of a place other than the one she currently occupies. Dove switches tones frequently to express the emotions that the woman experiences throughout her day and uses disheartening words to mirror the mother’s displeasure with her life. Diction is an integral part of the poem because…show more content…
She imagines an out of body experience and is able to indulge in her own fantasy by feeling as if she does not have to be depended on by anyone for anything. In addition to diction, tone also plays an important role in understanding the effect of the poem. In the first stanza of the “Daystar,” when the mother is overwhelmed by the many tasks already laid out in front of her, the tone expressed is desperation. All the mother wants is “a little room for thinking” (line 1) but instead, is faced with having to clean up after and take care of her young children. She desperately wants to take a break and rest but understands that she must complete all of her duties first. The tone then shifts to sympathy when the reader is forced to empathize with the mother when they realize that the most anticipated part of her day is watching crickets shed and leaves float in her backyard. Although it is peaceful when the mother is alone behind her garage, the relaxation is taken away as soon as it is given when reality dawns on her that her daughter, Liza, has woken up from her nap. The mother does not have any freedom in her life and is constantly restricted to the time table her children provide – her activities and chores all revolve around when her children are awake or asleep. Liza
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