Before the Birth of One of Her Children

The woman speaking in the poem understands that the danger of giving birth could lead to death and “with death’s parting blow…The sentence past is most irrevocable. ” With the uncertainty of what the ordeal would bring her, she writes her final words through the poem. It is clear that the woman in the poem has a very good relationship with her husband. She says that the reason why she makes the poem is because she loves him too much: “love bids me/These farewell lines to recommend to thee.

” In her love for him, she is even willing to give up some of the years God allots for her life to his husband when she says, “And if I see not half my days that’s due,/What nature would, God grant to yours and you” Finally, the fact that the coming birth is not the first time for the couple suggests that they enjoy the experience of sharing life with their kids. She wants him to take care of them if ever she dies as much as he took care of her when she was alive: “Look to my little babes, my dear remains.


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/And if thou love thyself, or loved’st me,/These O protect from step-dame’s injury”. We do not hear the husband in the poem but we get the idea that he loves her, too, when she bids him to “kiss this paper for thy dear love’s sake,/Who with salt tears this last farewell did take. ” She knows he would take her passing very badly. Question 2: Describe and explain Mrs. Gearsons reaction to her sons death in William Dean Howells story `Editha. ` When Editha meets Mrs.
Gearsons for the first time, the mother’s tone was reproachful of the young girl: “he told me he had asked you to come if he got killed. You didn’t expect that, I suppose, when you sent him. ” She knew why her son went to war in spite her bringing him up to think that “was (is) a fool thing as well as a bad thing. ” Editha has influenced his son so greatly for him to do something that was against the values he grew up with. Mrs. Gearsons has read the letter Editha gave George before he left where she told him that she would only marry a man who “must love his country, first of all”.
In mocking, she told Editha: “I suppose you would have been glad to die, such a brave person as you! ” Mrs. Gearson looked at war as being not about soldiers fighting for the honor of their country, but of people killing each other and mothers and wives losing sons and husbands. Editha would neither understand her blame in George’s death nor the pain that Mrs. Gearson was feeling. She simply dismissed Mrs. Gearson’s outbursts as the consequence of ill health. In the end, she would continue “to live again in the ideal. ”

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