Brothers and Sister Maude Comparison

Category: Love, Poetry, Sister
Last Updated: 20 Jun 2022
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Brothers and Sister Maude comparison Matthew Davis Comparison between the range of emotions felt by the speaker in ‘Sister Maude’ and ‘Brothers’. In Both ‘Sister Maude’ and ‘Brother’ a range of language devices are used in order to portray the different emotions and the varied relationships the poem focus on. Both poems use structural elements in order to portray a certain effect on the reader and to make them feel certain emotions just based on the way the poems are structured.

In ‘Sister Maude’ the enjambment between each of the lines emphasises the jealousy of ‘Maude’ herself and the continuation of the jealousy she undergoes for her sisters lover. The Rhyme scheme could also symbolise the continuation of the poem as the scheme is in a ‘A,B,C,B’ formation throughout each stanza continuing the jealousy of Maude. In ‘Brothers’ the use of enjambment is still apparent throughout the poem.

In the first stanza we see the possibly the main use of enjambment to show the continuation of the Brothers to the bus stop and therefore show the continuation of the relationship, However the enjambment is broke further on in the poem with the use of a full stop; ’Bus fare. ’ The break of the enjambment here is viewed significantly as the continuation has stopped along with the boy who ‘froze’ and realised he had forgot his bus fare. However the enjambment used in ‘Brothers’ makes it appear as a ‘story’ and the breaking of the enjambment acts as the breaking of the continuation of a book when everything stops flowing properly.

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The Symbolism in both poems various significantly due to the different relationships in each poem and the different emotions the reader feels. In ‘Sister Maude’ the symbolism is based around the jealousy portrayed from Maude about her sisters’ lover who she kills. The shock of this is portrayed as we find Maude’s sister in disbelief; ‘cold he lies, as cold as stone’. This disbelief of the incident is repeated throughout the poem to portray its traumatism caused to the woman. This relationship is a juxtaposition to he average relationship as the only reason they have a relationship is because they have to as their sisters as much as they would like to part, they cant. However ‘Brother’ has a much more simpler meaning towards the reader as it is the emotion felt by the younger brother as his older brother has left him while the younger brother went back to get some bus fare. The brother cowardly says to his younger brother ‘you should go and ask mum’ for the bus fare as the brother does not want to confront him.

The older brother thinks he is old enough and mature enough to take his younger brother out and be trusted; this turns out to be a complete juxtaposition to the reality and juxtaposition to the title as true brother are not ones that leave you for a ‘joke’. Guilt is a theme that occurs in both poems as the individual feels remorseful for what they’ve done. In ‘Sister Maude’ the guilt is quite an obvious one; the guilt of Maude killing her sisters lover out of jealousy. The hatred of Maude’s sister is emphasised particularly in the last two stanzas and most effectively in the last line; ‘Bide you with death and sin. Even at the end of the poem Maudes sister has not forgiven her and has no future plans of doing so due to the full stop appearance at the end. This really cuts off the poem and the relationship between Maude and her sister as a sister relationship is thought to be a loving and caring one which completely juxtaposes the entirety of the poem. The guilt in ‘Brothers’ is an obvious one too although not much is said about the guilt the older brother feels a sense of guilt for leaving his younger brother thinking it was ‘funny’ and thinking he was mature enough to take care of his little brother.

At first they have a close, unconditional love relationship; ‘saddled with you’. However this changed after the younger brother went home to get his bus fare off his mom as he ‘windmilled home’. This shows he was possibly skipping home and generally enjoying the company of his brother instead of his mom. The breakage of this happiness soon falls as he realises the bus has gone along with his older Brother as he ‘ran on, unable to close the distance I’d set in motion’. He was really ager to be with his brother and catch the bus but his brother went off without him; the relationship therefore breaking and the guilt feeling showing in his older brother. The relationship within both poems varies throughout the poem as sometime there is a strong relationship but at other times; not so strong. In ‘Sister Maude’ the relationship at first was a strong one due to the fact they were sisters and you have unconditional love for sisters however as the poem continued the relationship came to a halt as Maude’s sister found her lover dead.

The hatred then for her sister broke the relationship. We learn a lot from Maude, the main thing we learn is the spitefulness of her as she didn’t really think how it would affect her sister; she just thought how it would affect her as she can no longer be jealous of someone that’s dead. ‘Lurked to spy and peer’ shows how ‘perverted’ she was towards her sister’s lover and how she wanted to take her away from her sister. In the end she didn’t only take him away from her sister but took him away from her herself; the man she wanted all along.

In ‘Brothers’ the relationship is an unconditional one due to the Brotherly relationship. Even though the older Brother betrayed his younger brother there will be a small break in the relationship but one that can be easily fixed as Brother have unconditional love for one another no matter what the circumstances are. The story like structure really portrays this as with all stories there’s always a happy ending. Although there is no sign of a happy ending the as the relationship is dented there is still unconditional love for one another that will never change.

The imagery portrayed in both poems are pretty significant as they sum up what the reader is thinking and enable the reader to feel the emotion they are feeling. In ‘Sister Maude’ the imagery of the ‘clotted’ suggests a violent side to Maude and could be the way in which she killed him. The reader associates ‘clotted’ with physical violence to produce blood and to wound the skin of the man. Towards the end of the poem the imagery portrayed is hatefulness towards Maude as the sister is coming to terms with what she has done and is imply wanting her sister to die and to be sinned for all her life. This summarises the ‘future’ for Maude but however much hatred there is they’re still siblings and have to have a certain extent of love for each other. In ‘Brothers’ the first word; ‘saddled’ provides imagery towards the reader as ‘saddled’ could possibly mean he has been burdened and could suggest negative feelings for the speaker and for his brother as he views his brother as an inconvenience and is restricting the freedom of the speaker.

The word ‘Spouting’ also portrays how he views his brother as he thinks of his brother to be perhaps energetic and childish therefore making the older brother think he can take responsibility of him when in actual fact he can’t. In both poems the way it is written and the language used internally for the poem is what makes the poem what it is and what makes the reader feel the emotion the reader feels.

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Brothers and Sister Maude Comparison. (2017, Mar 02). Retrieved from

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