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  1. #1
    Ofelia's Avatar
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    Default answers for "my mother never worked"

    i answered the questions after essay ( it is our homework) but i am not sure if everything is correct and if i answered right. the 1st question is not fully answered. i d like you to help me to answer it or give my some ideas for it. Also i need to ckeck grammar. do you think all my answeres are good enough? if not correct me please.
    here is a story by Bonnie Smith-Yackel


    “Social Security Office.” (The voice answering the telephone sounds
    very self-assured.)
    “I’m calling about…I…my mother just died…I was told to call you and see about a…death-benefit check, I think they call it…”
    “I see. Was your mother on Social Security? How old was she?”
    “Yes…she was seventy-eight…”
    “Do you know her number?”
    “No…I,ah…don’t you have a record?”
    “Certainly. I’ll look it up. Her name?”
    “Smith. Martha Smith. Or maybe she used Martha Ruth Smith…Sometimes she used her maiden name…Martha Jerabek Smith.”
    “If you’d care to hold on, I’ll check our records—it’ll be a few minutes.”
    “Yes…”
    Her love letters—to and from Daddy—were in an old box, tied with ribbons and stiff, rigid-with-age leather thongs: 1918 through 1920; hers written on stationery from the general store she had worked in full-time and managed, single-handed, after her graduation from high school in 1913; and his, at first, on YMCA or Soldiers and Sailors Club Professional Model 3.3 stationery dispensed to the fighting men of World War I. He wooed her thoroughly and persistently by mail, and though she reciprocated all his feeling for her, she dreaded marriage…
    “It’s so hard for me to decide when to have my wedding day—that’s all I’ve thought about these last two days. I have told you dozens of times that I won’t be afraid of married life, but when it comes down to setting the date and then picturing myself a married woman with half a dozen or more kids to look after, it just makes me sick…I am weeping right now—I hope that some day I can look back and say how foolish I was to dread it all.”
    They married in February, 1921, and began farming. Their first baby, a daughter, was born in January, 1922, when my mother was 26 years old. The second baby, a son, was born in March, 1923.They were renting farms; my father, besides working his own fields, also was a hired man for two other farmers. They had no capital initially, and had to gain it slowly, working from dawn until midnight every day. My town-bred mother learned to set hens and raise chickens, feed pigs, milk cows, plant and harvest a garden, and can every fruit and vegetable she could scrounge. She carried water nearly a quarter of a mile from the well to fill her wash boilers in order to do her laundry on a scrub board. She learned to shuck grain, feed threshers, shock and husk corn, feed corn pickers. In September, 1925, the third baby came, and in June, 1927, the fourth child—both daughters. In 1930,my parents had enough money to buy their own farm, and that March they moved all their livestock and belongings themselves, 55 miles over rutted, muddy roads.
    In the summer of 1930 my mother and her two eldest children reclaimed a 40-acre field from Canadian thistles, by chopping them all out with a hoe. In the other fields, when the oats and flax began to head out, the green and blue of the crops were hidden by the bright yellow of wild mustard. My mother walked the fields day after day, pulling each mustard plant. She raised a new flock of baby chicks—500—and she spaded up, planted, hoed, and harvested a half-acre garden.
    During the next spring their hogs caught cholera and died. No cash that fall.
    And in the next year the drought hit. My mother and father trudged from the well to the chickens, the well to the calf pasture, the well to the barn, and from the well to the garden. The sun came out hot and bright, endlessly, day after day. The crops shriveled and died. They harvested half the corn, and ground the other half, stalks and all, and fed it to the cattle as fodder. With the price at four cents a bushel for the harvested crop, they couldn’t afford to haul it into town. They burned it in the furnace for fuel that winter.
    In 1934, in February, when the dust was still so thick in the Minnesota air that my parents couldn’t always see from the house to the barn, their fifth child—a fourth daughter—was born. My father hunted rabbits daily, and my mother stewed them, fried them, canned them, and wished out loud that she could taste hamburger once more. In the fall the shotgun brought prairie chickens, ducks, pheasant, and grouse. My mother plucked each bird, carefully reserving the breast feathers for pillows.
    In the winter she sewed night after night, endlessly, begging cast-off clothing from relatives, ripping apart coats, dresses, blouses, and trousers to remake them to fit her four daughters and son. Every morning and every evening she milked cows, fed pigs and calves, cared for chickens, picked eggs, cooked meals, washed dishes, scrubbed floors, and tended and loved her children. In the spring she planted a garden once more, dragging pails of water to nourish and sustain the vegetables for the family. In 1936 she lost a baby in her sixth month.
    In 1937 her fifth daughter was born. She was 42 years old. In 1939 a second son, and in 1941 her eighth child—and third son.
    But the war had come, and prosperity of a sort. The herd of cattle had grown to 30 head; she still milked morning and evening. Her garden was more than a half acre—the rains had come, and by now the Rural Electricity Administration and indoor plumbing. Still she sewed— dresses and jackets for the children, housedresses and aprons for herself, weekly patching of jeans, overalls, and denim shirts. She still made pillows, using the feathers she had plucked, and quilts every year— intricate patterns as well as patchwork, stitched as well as tied—all necessary bedding for her family. Every scrap of cloth too small to be used in quilts was carefully saved and painstakingly sewed together in strips to make rugs. She still went out in the fields to help with the haying whenever there was a threat of rain.
    In 1959 my mother’s last child graduated from high school. A year later the cows were sold. She still raised chickens and ducks, plucked feathers, made pillows, baked her own bread, and every year made a new quilt—now for a married child or for a grandchild. And her garden, that huge, undying symbol of sustenance, was as large and cared for as in all the years before. The canning, and now freezing, continued.
    In 1969, on a June afternoon, mother and father started out for town so that she could buy sugar to make rhubarb jam for a daughter who lived in Texas. The car crashed into a ditch. She was paralyzed from the waist down.
    In 1970 her husband, my father, died. My mother struggled to regain some competence and dignity and order in her life. At the rehabilitation institute, where they gave her physical therapy and trained her to live usefully in a wheelchair, the therapist told me:“She did fifteen pushups today—fifteen! She’s almost seventy-five years old! I’ve never known a woman so strong!”
    From her wheelchair she canned pickles, baked bread, ironed clothes, wrote dozens of letters weekly to her friends and her “half dozen or more kids,” and made three patchwork housecoats and one quilt. She made balls and balls of carpet rags—enough for five rugs. And kept all her love letters.
    “I think I’ve found your mother’s records—Martha Ruth Smith; married
    to Ben F. Smith?
    “Yes, that’s right.”
    “Well, I see that she was getting a widow’s pension…”
    “Yes, that’s right.”
    “Well, your mother isn’t entitled to our $225 death benefit.”
    “Not entitled! But why?”
    The voice on the telephone explained patiently:
    “Well, you see—your mother never worked.”

  2. #2
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    Default Re: answers for "my mother never worked"

    here is my questions and asnwers

    Purpose and Audience
    1. What point is the writer trying to make? Why do you suppose her thesis is never explicitly stated?
    The author’s whole point of the essay is to make the reader feel sympathy for her mother, because of the hardships she went through working on a farm while raising eight children, which leads us to believe she is deserving of the Social Security benefit check. Another point is general; even though, women does so much work towards their home, they don't get any credit from our society.
    I suppose that…
    2. This essay appeared in Ms. magazine and other publications whose audiences are sympathetic to feminist goals. Could it just as easily have appeared in a magazine whose audience was not? Explain.
    I think it could easily appear in a magazine whose audience was not sympathetic to feminist goals. I would say it would not be the most readable topic, and it is probably would have a lot of argumentations and critics after all.
    3. Smith-Yackel mentions relatively little about her father in this essay. How can you account for this?
    She does this because she is disappointed to hear that her mother never worked by the person on the phone. The author tried to show as many details about her mother`s work as possible; Smith-Yackel gains empathy throughout the essay for her mother by repeating the numerous jobs she had to do. This is to reinforce the message that person, who spends their whole life tending to others, is told by the society, that her work is not recognized and appreciated.
    4. This essay was first published in 1975. Do you think it is dated, or do you think the issues it raises are still relevant today?
    The issues it raises are still relevant today because even now most people think the same way. Women`s rights are still a controversial issue today in equal partnership world.

    Style and Structure
    1. Is the essay`s title effective? If so, why? If not, what alternate title can you suggest?
    No, it is not effective. I would suggest “My stay-at-home mother is a hard-working person.”
    2. Smith-Yackel could have outlined her mother`s life without framing it with the telephone conversation. Why do you think she includes this frame?

    This is done to bring a sense a reality to the text and appeal to readers. Yakel also takes full paragraph out of her mother's diary, to make an emotional connection between the reader and Yakel's mother. This also helps the readers directly relate to Yakel's mother by including dialogue that show exactly how her mother is feeling.
    3. What strategies does Smith-Yackel use to indicate the passing of time in her narrative?
    Yakel includes all the dates, especially the years, so the readers can recognize or even relate to surrounding environment. Such as in 1931, Yakel's mother went through a drought, therefore people who had experiences such as this can relate to Yakel's mother's hardship.
    4. This narrative piles details one on top of another almost like a list. Why does the writer include so many details?
    The author wants the readers recognize, appreciates and even relate to her mothers work as she does. And not discard years of service and hardship towards her family, as Social Security did. For the same reason she describes the most smallest of the details from her mom`s diary.
    5. In paragraph 20 and 21 what is accomplished by the repetition of the word still?
    All the hard times the author`s mother had that period, did not stop her to take care about her family. She still continued to work hard even after all her kids grew up.

  3. #3
    Ofelia's Avatar
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    Default Re: answers for "my mother never worked"

    wow! 70 people read my topic and nobody can correct my answers or help me a little bit!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: answers for "my mother never worked"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ofelia View Post
    wow! 70 people read my topic and nobody can correct my answers or help me a little bit!
    I think it is asking a lot to expect somebody to correct an assignment of this length and complexity, especially when it's your homework, and you have good English skills anyway.
    70 people have clicked on your title. I doubt whether many would have read much.
    I will try to help you by suggesting that you lower your expectations a little (or a lot).

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    Default Re: answers for "my mother never worked"

    well! the first part! it just a text itself! i just would like someone to check my answers. if they are not fully answered , i`d like someone to give me an idea what should i correct.
    thank you so much!

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