Summary of “Patterns” by Amy Lowell
The woman is able to feel free and move unrestricted at her will in spite of the stiff, imprisoning gown that she is wearing. The brocaded gown symbolizes the social boundaries and restrictions imposed upon her. ‘And the train makes a pink and silver stain’ is a metamorphic way to refer to the training that she received as a would-be bride to a man of high respect and honor. It suggests that she was trained to behave high class and eloquent with her behavior and dress up and could not be like her true self. But she waits eagerly for her lover who can set her free from all the social boundaries and let her lead the ways of their lives.
She is longing to see her lover return and imagines her presence so that she can lead her own way and follow her own paths without. She thinks once she meets and becomes one with her lover, she would no longer be in the mould that the society has created to confine her freedom. Her lover’s uniform is to suggest that he is some war field obeying his duties .All the patterns that woman’s life follows are meant for her lover.
The bitter part of the story comes when the woman hears the news of the death of her lover. She feels helpless and deserted and her brocade dress becomes a waste. Out of shock, she becomes stiff like her brocade dress and cries hard. The tears fall down her eyes and she is in deep pain and emotional loss after hearing the bad news. She still remembers the time when her lover had promised to be with her and she finds it difficult to believe that he is dead now. Thus her lover’s death renders all the meaningful and cheery patterns useless.