Sister Maude analysis

Here is a sister maude analysis from the AQA english literature relationship cluster

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Stage 1:
Poem: Sister Maude
Subject: Describes the death of a loved one caused by the actions of a jealous sister.
Themes: Betrayal, change in relationships.
Messages: There is a fine line between the friendship and love of a relationship
Stage 2:
Poem: Sister Maude
Emotions, Sister Maude explores the destructiveness of jealousy and the darker side of sisterhood. There is a
Moods, suggestion that Maude's betrayal was unnatural and 'un-sisterly'.
Feelings: This is a poem about opposites: good versus evil, heaven versus hell. The additional two lines at the
end of the final stanza reveal the hatred the sister feels for Maude's behaviour, as well as the joy she
feels at the prospect of Maude in hell, presented as a fitting punishment for a 'sin'.
Betrayal- the narrator is bitter because her sister has told her parents something what she wanted
to keep a secret.
Jealousy - the narrator implies that Maude's motive was jealousy for her lover.
Spitefulness - the narrator aims to hurt her sister by saying that the lover would never have desired
Cold anger- the narrator repeatedly talks about her belief, or maybe even hope, that Maude would
suffer for all eternity.
Bitter - the narrator is furious with her sister for telling her parents about her lover: 'who told my
mother of my shame'. She sees her sister as a sneak and tell-tale- 'who lurked to spy and peer'. The
poet wants her sister to suffer for what she did: 'bide you with death and sin'.
Mean and cruel - the narrator wants her sister to suffer for telling her parents about her relationship:
'but sister Maude shall get no sleep'. The narrator aims to hurt her sister by telling her that the young
men would never have fancied her anyway: 'he'd never have looked at you'. This poem highlights
the extra tensions that can occur in sibling relationships, rivalries and disagreements can be more
intense as the relationship is so close.
Stage 3:
Poem: Sister Maude
What techniques are Rhetorical question-
used His opening also makes clear that there is an implied audience for the poem - the woman's
And what effect do sister, Maude, who is accused of bringing about the death of a lover.
Have on the reader: Caesura is used to reflect the speaker's outrage and anger that 'Maude, my sister Maude'
could have deliberately caused such a tragedy.
Bethany Cunningham Sister Maude

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Repetition of "Maude" also adds to the strength of the narrator's feelings. The repetition
is reminding the reader that it was Maude's fault the poet feels like this.
Religious language reflecting conventions within society at the time in which the poem was
written, as well as the seriousness of the events described. Maude has committed such a
terrible deed that, rather than going to heaven, her sister tells her, 'Bide you with death
and sin'.…read more

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Brothers are also a poem about the relationship between siblings and the delicate balance between friendship and
Praise Song for My Mother
Praise Song for My Mother is about a close family relationship, although a positive, supportive one, unlike the
negative, jealous relationship presented in Sister Maude.
Both poems are about violent reactions. In Nettles a father is fiercely protective of his son who has been stung by
nettles and so he destroys the weeds.…read more



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