Rita Dove Daystar

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In Rita Dove’s “Daystar”, there are several phrases and words that lead the reader of the poem to a profound understanding of the struggles that the main character of this poem experiences. According to the context of the poem, the main character appears to be a mother and wife in distress. Throughout the poem, she is presented as having a dreary, lethargic, and disconnected outlook of her current situation. The main question that must be asked is what the narrator tried to convey by stating that “she was nothing, pure nothing, in the middle of the day” (21-22). There are many possible answers strung across the poem that suggest why this mother describes her state of being in this way, such as the words that were being used to express how…show more content…
Normally, a house with young children is usually a vibrant and loud setting with the expectation of a mother who is without a break in order to tend to their every need. However, this mother’s world appears to be at a standstill or even perhaps at a breaking point as described in this section: “Sometimes there were things to watch-- the pinched armor of a vanished cricket, a floating maple leaf,” (8-10). She is most likely searching for ways to see her way out of her current situation or to fantasize a world where she can be at peace. She tries to focus on the simplicities of life such as the “floating maple leaf” (8). This mostly due to her hopes that life would slow down for a moment and so she could find some peace as well. She hopes for a world where there is only her and no responsibility, so she attempts to separate herself from reality but inevitably struggles to do so. The reader is therefore within two worlds that the mother is seeing, her ideal and reality. The reader soon learns that both those worlds are blurred, and the mother has an incredibly difficult time separating the two. The “vanished cricket” (7) she saw may be a representation of herself describing her own lost opportunity of wishing that she could vanish or even turn back the clock to a better and less stressful time in her life. Her struggle for some peace of mind is like an unreachable dream with all her hopes relinquished…show more content…
Her sense of time returns and the presence of her children reawakens like a rude awakening. As previously mentioned, she is presented as a mother who is constantly trying to find ways to mentally survive, even if this means trying to distance herself from her children. An example of her creating this distance is shown: “She had an hour… before Liza appeared pouting from the top of the stairs. And just what was mother doing out back with the field mice? Why building a palace” (12-16). The mother is clearly counting how much time she has away from her children. Her awareness of the time shows her unhappiness. What she wants is to be free from this restraint. Everything about Liza was an obligation she had to satisfy. If she did not tend to Liza’s needs, then both her ideal and reality would fall apart. Her caring for Liza as a mother is difficult, but she must do so in order to retain some peace even if it feels unnatural to her. Being a mother to her seems to be about the sacrifices of her own happiness. Her attention to Liza’s pouting, shows that she wants nothing to do with her which indicates that she does not want to deal with her children at all. They probably give her the same face many times, and that expression may be the only thing she sees. She may now be blind to their happiness, as their presence is her stress in life, and she can hardly see how they bring her happiness. Instead, she wants
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