In the poem, “The Secretary Chant” by Margie Piercy, a women working as a secretary is depicted as undervalued and unappreciated by her employer. Whereas, in Linda Pastan’s poem “Marks, a women as a housewife and a mother that family expresses their frustrations towards her. In “The Secretary Chant”, women working in the workplace were something new by this poem being written in 1936. Women were not given equal treatment as employers. During this time, they were in the beginning stages of their fight for equality. It is obvious that the secretary feels as if her job consumes her to the point where she is only seen as an object in the business throughout the poem.
Just as the “The Secretary Chant” was written during a time women was grant rights, so was “Marks”. It was written in 1978 after the women’s right movement but women still did not have complete respect. In this poem, a husband and children judge the wife and mother in the home. They were given here grades for activities they feel she needs to carry out. It was like the women get scored on assignments as if she was in school and not her home. The author shows how the role of the woman in the family is still second class to that of the husband and is still subject to the criticism of others.
In “The Secretary Chant” Piercy conveys the theme by showing the inner feelings of the secretary using the literary elements imagery. Imagery refers to the use of figurative language to create pictures, or “images” in the reader’s mind. It appeals to the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. This poem describes a secretary’s life in humorous, vivid detail. It is full of strong visuals that are hard to forget. The author states, “My hips are a desk, From my ears hang, Chains of paper clips (Piercy 1-3). From this first line, you can get the impression that the author wasn’t human like anymore. Her body was turning into a desk robot, from head to toe. Instead of earrings, she wore paper clips…