Literary Analysis Essay on "Daystar" by Rita Dove

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  2
Wordcount:  548 Words
Date:  2022-11-25


The persona in the poem, "Daystar" which was written by Rita Dove gives the impression of someone entrapped and tired of her gender roles. She is melancholic about the fact that being a woman makes her unable to freely explore personal abilities and achieve self-actualization beyond the house chores. The woman sees her condition of being a mother and wife as enslaving. The statement "...A doll slumped behind the door" (2:1) shows her monotonous life. From the wording and mood of the poem, the woman is just unhappy that she cannot find any free time to think about several other issues. A close reading of the poem shows a woman who plays the typical role as a housewife or stay-at-home mother. The husband is most likely at work since he only comes into the picture at night when it is sleep time. The fact that the women are restricted to her home and doing the same things every day makes her day monotonous and tiring.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Whereas any mother would ordinarily be proud to take care of her child, the persona is different. She looks at the responsibility of taking care of the child as some form of involuntary servitude imposed on her by society due to her gender. She feels a lesser human and more like a robot who has to do several duties that have been programmed for her. For instance, she has to change diapers for her child endlessly. In this, she loses her sense of being human and instead feels like a limp, lifeless doll.

The mother tries to find value and sense for her life through reconnecting with it. This is the reason why sometimes she sits outside and thinks about herself. Just as a way of trying to find meaning in life and feel herself, the woman sometimes sits outside her house and observe nature, leaves floating in the wind and crickets. The fact that she sometimes stares into the open space until she closes her eyes shows the enormity of her psychological instability. In the poem "Other days she stared until she; was assured when she closed; her eyes she'd only see her vivid blood" (4). This shows that she is not settled and it is in doing such uncommon things that her spirits become soothed, and she experiences a sense of being alive. She has only limited time to sit outside and at least create a fantasy in her mind before the child can again demand she returns and provides the motherly care.


Due to the frustrations of being a mother, the woman does not enjoy intimacy with the husband. For instance, it would be expected that all her thoughts are drawn to the husband when they are lying in bed at night. However, her mind is clouded by the nostalgia of the short time (one hour) that she sometimes finds out of her busy motherly schedule to think about herself. Even though someone may think that one hour spent without doing something is wasted, to the women in the poem, it is a moment of freedom for her. It is the only time that she can think about herself and not get busy with the responsibilities as a wife or mother.

Work Cited

Dove, Rita. "Daystar." The Agni Review 22 (1985): 71-71.

Cite this page

Literary Analysis Essay on "Daystar" by Rita Dove. (2022, Nov 25). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience and 25% off!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism