Essay on Analysis Of Julia Alvarez 's ' How I Learned At Sweep '

731 Words Mar 29th, 2015 3 Pages
In Julia Alvarez’s, “How I Learned to Sweep,” she uses an extended metaphor and interesting rhyme scheme to convey the image that the narrator is not in the best mental state. Alvarez uses the idea of sweeping to express the narrator’s fear of the bad things in her life. “How I Learned to Sweep” explains a story of when a little girl first starts to sweep. The girl had often seen her mother sweep, yet she never taught her daughter. Once the girl is finished sweeping the floor of the house, the television catches her attention. She now begins to see images of the current war, The Vietnam War, and this is intriguing to her. After gazing away from the television, she realizes that the floor she had been sweeping did not seem to be clean to her anymore. She begins to sweep again, but in her mind, the images she saw on television were too overwhelming. Her mother enters the room and turns off the television and the floor appears to be clean again. The idea of the dust that was scattered throughout the floor represented the narrator’s mental state. She had been watching soldiers die on her television that was flooding her mind and causing her trouble. Throughout the poem, Alvarez uses the idea of “sweeping” as an extended metaphor that represents getting rid of negative aspects in someone’s like. The narrator first explains, “My mother never taught me to learn how to sweep.” Children’s minds are full of joy and innocence and the mother realizes this and wishes that her child…

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