Related Analysis Pages
Motif in Patterns
Motif Examples in Patterns :
"By the stiffness of my gown...." See in text (Patterns)
In these lines the dress is shown literally holding her up as she walks in the garden. While she experiences grief and feels the need to collapse, the dress, symbolic of her society and the expectations that society holds for her, keeps her rigid to the pattern she must follow.
"What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!..." See in text (Patterns)
On a literal level, the speaker might be expressing that the gown is uncomfortable in the summer because it is hot and she cannot take it off to cool herself in the water; the gown prevents her from fulfilling her basic human needs. This exclamation also holds metaphorical meaning. The speaker cannot experience or enjoy summer, a representation of adulthood, because she is restricted by social constraints.
"whale-bone..." See in text (Patterns)
Since whale bones were commonly used for the boning in corsets, the speaker can use just this phrase to refer to the corset she is wearing. Corsets have historically been used to force a body to conform to a desired shape and style. The speaker then not only wears a dress of intricately defined patterns, but she also wears a device that conforms her body to a desired pattern.