Work and Contemplation essay

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Barrett in her sonnet ‘work and contemplation’ has critically exploited aspects regarding the theme of advocation of women's rights  as witnessed in various instances in the development of the poem’s literary content. In the sonnet the participatory element of the woman’s role has been expressed through the display the importance of the element of song in the emancipation and achievement of work goals and objectives. Song is essentially taken as a motivating factor towards work for the woman and has further been used to elementally strengthen the woman’s role in society with regard to their contribution to societal needs (Henderson 46). This can be seen in:

The woman singeth at her spinning-wheel

A pleasant chant, ballad or barcarole (Billow 23)

The woman essentially infuses her skills of singing into the art of work in such a manner that the pleasantness and results witnessed are equally witnessed in her work. The woman’s art of song is therefore fundamentally equalized to her ability to work. Common knowledge has it that woman have natural vocal cords for singing, hence the expression of song in their work suggests further their perfection levels in regard to work input and skill. This element can fundamentally be seen in:

She thinketh of her song, upon the whole

Far more than of her flax; and yet the reel

Is full, and artfully her fingers feel (Billow 23)

In addition, Barrett has fundamentally expressed work in a figurative form or metaphorically as a temple, in the process transcending spirituality aspects into participatory elements of everyday life. The emancipation of the spiritual aspect of work through the woman suggests the manner in which song has been used to bring the woman’s focus into the fundamentals of work. This can be seen in:

The lines--too subtly twisted to unroll—

Out to a perfect thread. I hence appeal

To the dear Christian Church—that we may do

Our Father’s business in these temples mirk,

Thus swift and steadfast, thus intent and strong (Billow 23)

The inclusion of the religion and its association with work through the woman further brings into focus and strengthens the woman’s devotion towards work. This is also serves to strengthen the involvement role and right of the woman with regard to her critical contribution to the achievement of work objectives.

Furthermore, the element of song has been strategically used to develop the factor of religion given the interrelatedness of the two aspects. What further strengthens this factor is the inclusion of the woman through her actual singing as seen in, “The lines—too subtly twisted to unroll—out a perfect thread. I hence appeal” (Billow 23). Moreover, women’s participation in song in the delivery of work especially focusing on the component of perfection and devotion. In addition, the inclusion of the element of religion has been used to elevate the status of work in society especially focusing on the individual contribution of the female gender in the achievement of the desired trends. This can be seen in:

While thus, apart from toil, our souls pursue

Some high calm spheric tune, and prove our work

The better for the sweetness of our song (Billow 23)

The lines above express the deep connection  with which women have with work, and suggests the factor that their participation on song does not necessarily emanate from their love of singing. It therefore suggest that women’s singing is an internal factor, deeply encased in their souls according to the sonnet, hence the only form of expression is fundamentally through their input during work progress (Henderson 45). This strengthens their position both in the work place, and in the society.

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