Discussion Topic

The significance of the title "Same Song" in Pat Mora's poem and the son and daughter's feelings about their appearance

Summary:

The title "Same Song" signifies that both the son and daughter share similar feelings of dissatisfaction with their appearance. Despite their different routines and efforts to improve their looks, they both experience the same sense of discontent and struggle with societal beauty standards.

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What does the title "Same Song" signify in Pat Mora's poem, considering the son and daughter's concern about their appearance?

Your interpretation of this poem's title is a sound one, and is supported by the poem's final word, "too." The poem is divided into two sections: one focusing on the speaker's daughter and her concerns about her appearance, and the second focusing on the speaker's son and his similar concerns. Although the two sections are divided, that final word, "too," unites them—it is the note on which the speaker leaves us, and it resonates in conjunction with the title. The girl's experience is, in many ways, different from the boy's: they are concerned about superficially different things, but there is a sameness in their self-criticism that is far greater than these differences. The girl's daily makeup ritual may look different to the boy's weight-lifting and jogging, but both are fundamentally the same thing, "the same song" of a teenage desire to improve what they see in the mirror, something that makes both of them "frown."

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What does the title "Same Song" signify in Pat Mora's poem, considering the son and daughter's concern about their appearance?

Unfortunately, because there is no group for Pat Mora or for this poem, I have to leave it in the overall Literature group. You sould as if you have cracked the meaning of the poem, however. Clearly, the way that the poem is structured in two stanzas, both of which deals with the two children of the speaker and the different ways that they feel forced into practising behaviours that they don't necessarily want to practise to satisfy the demands of society of their appearance and the way they look. Note how both daughter and soon peer "into that mirror, mirror" and frown at their appearance. Also I am sure you identified the allusion to the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, where the evil stepmother looks into the "mirror, mirror on the wall," demanding to know if she is the most beautiful "of them all." Mora seems to be bemoaning a society that causes children to take such an obsessive interest in their looks and prevents them from being happy with themselves. Both girl and boy sing the "same song."

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In Pat Mora's "Same Song", how do the son and daughter feel about their appearance? What word gives a clue?

It is important to note the element of parallelism that exists between the two stanzas and the two separate descriptions of the speaker's son and daughter. Both of them spend lots of time focussed on their own body and the way they look. We are given descriptions of how the daughter gets up extra early to curl her hair and how she "squeezes into fades jeans" and applies make-up. Likewise, her son is shown to stay up late and spend lots of time working out and jogging to improve his physical appearance. However, in spite of all of these efforts, both of them are shown to look into the mirror and "frown" at what they see. This one word indicates Mora's sadness at the way society produces teenagers that are so unhappy with their physical appearance and cannot accept themselves for the way they are. Society has produced people who are always striving to make themselves more beautiful, more toned or more attractive rather than producing people who are happy in themselves.

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