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"order for Masks" by Virginia R. Moreno

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"Order for Masks" by Virginia R. Moreno

The poem, "Order for Masks", is clearly talking about the different roles that the woman, who is the persona in the poem, has to portray throughout her life. It presents the woman's three masks which represent the three tasks in her life and the three faces she has to wear for the three men in her life. The first role that is illustrated is that of a sister - the woman towards her brother. As a sister, she tries to differentiate herself from her brother that is why she does things that are completely opposite or in contrast with the things her brother does. She wants to be unlike him in every possible way so to make him feel secure in his masculinity and to make him believe that she is not a threat to him. The next role mentioned is that of a daughter - the woman towards her father. As a daughter, she wants to show her father that she is the kind of woman that he expects her to be - pure, innocent and chaste, leading him to believe that she is the perfect or ideal daughter. Also, the woman is projecting to him that she is still the same child he knew and the same face he made. The last role that she plays is that of a lover - the woman towards her lover. This time, she projects herself as someone who does her best to satisfy and fulfill the needs and wants of her partner. She makes him believe that by being the woman he wants her to be, she is making herself the best partner for him.

In the three roles that the poem discusses, it can be said that the woman shapes her behavior, actions and personality in accordance to the needs of the men. This, in a way, degrades or lowers the status of the woman as it reduces her whole being to mere instrument that satisfies and pleases men's needs and wants. But this conclusion is compensated by the other fact that the poem is trying to imply. The poem shows that the woman, through her ability to make the men in her life see and believe what she wants them to, to some extent, is manipulating and controlling the whole situation. Her slyness and cleverness blind the men to who she really is because they only get to see bits and pieces of her personality, specifically those that they want or expect her to be. In this sense, the woman is shown to be more powerful than the men in her life. However, it is also important for the woman that she is able to discover, recognize, and accept her own being,



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