Essay Explication of "35/10"

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In Sharon Olds poem, “35/10,” a story is told with the writer speaking through the mother. The poem was about a mother, perhaps a little envious of her daughter. The title of the poem symbolizes the ages of the mother and daughter, the mother being 35 and the daughter being 10. I feel the writer uses imagery when she talks about the mother brushing her daughter’s hair. I visualize the mother and daughter sitting in the daughter’s room, at a white vanity, brushing her hair. As she looks in the mirror at her daughter, the mother realizes that as she is getting older and maybe less attractive, her daughter is starting to bloom into beautiful, young women. Sharon Olds poem is made up of an18 line stanza. The tone of the speaker changes by…show more content…
Imagery is portrayed here as the speaker uses the word “moist.” The word “moist” paints a picture for the reader showing how the daughter is maturing, but still has her youthful look while the word “dry” shows how the mother is beginning to wither. The speaker also uses a metaphor as she compares their different aging process. Change is a hard thing for most people, especially those who take on physical changes that go along with life. I feel the mother may also show her jealousy when she talks about her “…last chances to bear a child.” She realizes that as a thirty- five year old woman, she is beginning to reach the point of being too old to have children. Her daughter on the other hand, will soon approach the age to be able to have children, which may perhaps make her feel as though she will be replaced. She knows her daughter will find a man, get married and move away from her. To me, the speaker wishes she was back to her childhood, dreaming of the day she will be married and have kids of her own. As we reach the end of the poem, the speakers attitude changes. The mother realizes that aging is just a part of life. We all get older, we all start to wrinkle and our hair color eventually turns grey. She realizes that at some point she has to let go of her daughter’s childhood so that she can start a family of her own one day and keep the generation going. The speaker and the daughter are moving forward in their lives but their aging processes, at the time, are
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