Study Guide

Vintage Hughes - Madam's Past History Summary & Analysis

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This section contains 125 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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Madam's Past History Summary

This poem is about a woman who has been driven out of several business endeavors by hard times and romantic strife.

Madam's Past History Analysis

The poem references the WPA, or Works Progress Administration, which was among the most ambitious of President Roosevelt's government relief programs during the Great Depression. The WPA in this poem is a useless agency that does not come to the aid of the woman because she had insurance and is therefore nominally afloat, though she must struggle as a cook in order to make end's meet. She gives her name as Madam Alberta K., affixing the formal madam to her name in order to communicate her self-respect in spite of the difficulties she has faced.

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This section contains 125 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Vintage Hughes Study Guide
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
Vintage Hughes from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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