Julia Alvarez

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Are there example of figurative language in Julia Alvarez's poem "Woman's work"?

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Yes, there is figurative language in Julia Alvarez's poem "Woman's Work."

There is a range of this language. There are visual images (like her scrubbing the floor). There are analogies ("keep house as if the address were your heart").There are metaphors that are vivid and logically impossible (keeping the narrator prisoner in a heart). There are images that are also metaphors, like when the sun bars the floor. The sunlight falls in lines across the floor, like literal bars, but it is also part of the metaphor of being in prison.

What's striking about the figurative language in this poem is how well it fits together. It blends domestic scenes with geometric structures and images/metaphors of containment and imprisonment. For example, the lattice cut into the pie is literal (that's one way to shape a pie crust) and a metaphor of crossed bars, like a jail.

 

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