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Paper Matches

  • Date Submitted: 04/26/2010 01:00 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.3 
  • Words: 1297
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Paulette Jiles’, Paper Matches, delves into the struggles women wrestle with for the majority of their lives.   She addresses how women are not subordinate to men but are, in fact, empowered by their ability to endure and the necessity of their existence every man has.   Upon first reading of Paper Matches, it would seem that the speaker is simply stating the way of the world, that women are on this earth to serve men.   However, as Paulette Jiles treats the theme of power in her poem Paper Matches, her use of syntax, diction and irony contradicts her speaker’s contention that women are bound by their obligation to men illuminating that women are not bound by their obligation but are, in fact, empowered. Through her poetry, she is conveying the message that maintaining a proper household and doing the work of a mother and having men be reliant on these things does not hinder a woman’s existence but actually makes women far more powerful than any man could ever be.   She is deducing the world back down to its simplest form, men do not keep the world going round, it is the women of this earth that are the greatest gift to humankind.   Their willingness to perform the necessary tasks of maintaining life as well as creating life not only makes them empowered, but also makes them far more important entities to this earth than any man.  
Jiles’ thoughts throughout her poem, Paper Matches, would lead a casual literal reader to believe that she wrote this poem as a grievance to the order of roles in the world; that women are subject to the servitude of men and therefore are bound to a life without the frivolities and joys of a man’s life.   Jiles states in lines nine and ten of her poem, “Written on me was a message, ‘At Your Service’ like a book of paper matches” indicating that women are viewed as strictly objects of servitude.   However, a closer look at the text and Jiles use of syntax, she contradicts this ideal by stating in the final two lines, “We come bearing supper,...

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