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Analyzing Julia Alvares Womans Work

Analyzing Julia Alvares Womans Work

Doubtless, when the notion of art comes to mind, it suffices to say that it is absolutely inexplicably indescribable. By so saying, there is virtually no label that could be assimilated into the notion of art that an artist could concoct. The smallest and the most insignificant things can provide us with a different perspective in understanding a certain work of art.  With this notion in mind, it suffices to maintain that this paper will explore the notion of Julia’s Woman’s Work and provide an analysis of the poem, paying special attention to a quotation in her work that refers to “Woman’s work” that is in relation to the fact that essentially, nothing is actually impossible in this world.

Foremost, the poem is an evocative piece, evoking numerous emotions due to the aspect of tone shift. The catchphrase is “Woman’s work.” Undoubtedly, it highlights the validation of women who choose to work from home. During the period that this poem was written, the majority of women had begun to find jobs and were in open defiance of the social norms at this time. It is crucial to understand that a section of women preferred to be housewives and work from the confines of their homes, and as Julia discusses, they also deserve as much validation as other women working in the corporate world, for the work they do. The poet uses some literary devices to ensure that she does advance the message in her work of art. For instance, she uses imagery to bolster the notion of art in this work. By taking this from a child’s perspective, there is a comparison between the home and the heart. Since the small girl would wish to play outside instead of cleaning her house, she comprehends much later that her mother was developing a form of art.

In the poem, the poet posits, “…I struck out…but became my mother’s child: a woman working at home on her art, housekeeping paper as if it were her heart” (Alvarez). The persona registers that she has gradually turned to be like her graceful mother. The riveting part about this poem is that there are several connections as to how the mother treats her house. Undoubtedly, ethereal descriptions tie the poem together and leave one with a nostalgic feeling.

Furthermore, it is imperative to understand that in this poem, the mother has to do house chores, which has been deemed the work of a woman for so long. By so saying, it is a contentious undertaking that scholars would argue over the position of women in society and the way patriarchy plays a role in the oppression of women. However, this case is different because as the poem progresses, it is clear that the persona’s mother likes doing this work. She makes this work reverent and almost sacred, and she teaches her child to value this work and cultivate it as one who would take their heart. The fact that the father is absent his presence is felt and appreciated in the home. Even though the persona despises this work at first and is jealous of the chatter that she hears outside and sighs to herself, she later appreciates it as she becomes her mother. In lines 5-6, the persona says, “…keep house as if the address were your heart” (Alvarez). It implores the persona to keep the memories of the home in her heart. In essence, the persona has the mandate to create memories for herself and the family to ensure that these memories are never forgotten.

By this implication, it suffices to say that the persona refers to this as a woman’s work because it is upon the woman to make a home. Home in this case is people, family, and memories, and that is a high form of art that cannot be wished away.


Alvarez, Julia. Homecoming: New and Collected Poems. Plume Books, 1996.


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Write a 500-600 word essay in answer to the following prompt:

Julia Alvarez shows us in her writing that “nothing is impossible in this world.” In the poem “Woman’s Work,” what does this phrase mean?

Analyzing Julia Alvares Womans Work

Analyzing Julia Alvares Womans Work

Read the poem and analyze its details. You may include your personal insights, and you may refer to other literary works, but the focus should be on the ideas and experiences as suggested by Julia Alvarez. Include literary elements in your analysis. Refer back to the poem and cite properly using MLA style.

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