Figure Of Speech
Though I know which poems I am going to use for the essay and understand them well, I can't get my head round "figure of the mother" - I've looked in lots of psychology books but none of them seem to be very clear on it and I can't answer the question without understanding it. "Figure of the mother" means the way motherhood is portrayed by the literature: are mothers seen as nuturers, shielders, scolds, smothers, etc? Are they portrayed with love, affection, sympathy, or hatred, disdain, and condescension. "Figure" is used here as in "figure of speech."