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Family Relationship in “Ironing Their Clothes” by Julia Alvarez

Buy custom Family Relationship in “Ironing Their Clothes” by Julia Alvarez essay

Poetry has a remarkable ability to influence a variety of human emotions. The works of Julia Alvarez are depictions of everyday life of people who go through their troubles, joys, and challenges. In the familiar settings of their homes they struggle to make sense of life. The poem “Ironing their clothes” has a powerful emotional impact because it shows the lack of interaction among the family members.

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While the poem tells about a child ironing the clothes of the family it also relates the story of the family life. The reader sees the immense love that this girl has for her father, mother, and older sister. She knows that in the everyday life they are busy with chores and cannot always spare time for a hug or kind word. One can only imagine how difficult it must be for a child to be unable to cling to the mother for comfort or to share a sincere laugh with the sister. However, she finds the way to express her love. All the clothes of the family are ironed by her, and all the creases in the shirts or skirts are perfectly smooth. The poem ends with the direct statement of this girl confessing in a sense the lack of love expression in her home. “All that my careful hand had ironed out,/ forced to express my excess love on cloth” (Alvarez, 2012). As it is the end of the poem, the reader cannot but linger on these words and think about his/her own family life. At this point, one can either appreciate even more the existing love and understanding among his/her family members or regret the lack of it. In any case, the poem is a great reminder of how often people are forced to express their love through everyday chores because of the lack of time or too much work.

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In the given poem Julia Alvarez opens a door to one family’s world in order to remind everyone about the importance of quality communication among close people. It is important to do one’s share of housekeeping but together with that one should not forget about the precious time of idleness when the family can strengthen the inherent bond within it. 

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