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feminaw Portrayal of Men in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening

The Portrayal of Men in The Awakening

When Kate Chopin develops the male characters in her novel, The Awakening, she portrays men in a very objectionable light. For the most part, her men are possessive, cowardly and self-serving. She seems a trifle unfair and biased in her portrayal of men, yet this view is necessary for Chopin to get her point across. She uses the characters of Mr. Pontellier, Robert, Alcee and a few other men to demonstrate her observations of the middle class man in the society of her day.

Firstly, Mr. Pontellier represents Kate Chopin’s supposition that in society men objectify women. A wife is a man’s property, he “looks at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of property which has suffered some damage”(44) and his possession, “he greatly valued his possessions, chiefly because they were his”(99). Mr. Pontellier treats Edna like a child, commanding and demeaning her,”Send him about his business when he bores you,’ instructed her husband”(45) while also scolding her “he reproached his wife with her inattention, her habitual neglect of the children”(48). At the same time, he requires that she play the role of his wife,”Tuesday being Mrs. Pontellier’s reception day..attired in a handsome gown, she remained in the drawing-room the entire afternoon receiving her visitors”(100). Chopin also uses Pontellier to indicate that she conceives men as dominating, for example, on page 77 and 78, when Edna refuses to go inside, Mr. Pontellier joins her outside and waits until she decides to go in. Chopin also shows Pontellier taking out his anger at Edna for going out on Tuesday afternoon, by complaining about the cook(108).

Next,Alcee Arobin symbo…

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… confidence to me, perhaps I might help you. I know I would understand, and I tell you there are not many who would–not many, my dear(171), “I don’t want you to blame yourself, whatever comes”(172). Unfortunately, it is already to late, for when Edna

returns and finds Robert’s note, her grief can not be contained. After she swims out , she looks back and thinks “perhaps Doctor Mandelet would have understood if she had seen him–but it was too late”(176).

Put simply, Kate Chopin uses The Awakening to exercise her observations of men in her society. In the present, it is hard to see her accusations as accurate since society has changed considerably. But regarding the time and setting of her story, Chopin’s views are quite accurate and fair, although unappealing to the men who read her book, which eventually made her and The Awakening so unpopular.

To His Coy Mistress Essay: Use of Sound

Use of Sound in To His Coy Mistress

At first glance, Andrew Marvel’s poem “To His Coy Mistress” is a fairly typical carpe diem poem, in which the speaker tells his beloved that they should “seize the day” and have sex now instead of waiting until they are married. Today, the speaker’s speech may seem sexist in its attitude toward women and irresponsible in its attitude toward the coy mistress (the speaker doesn’t explain how he would seize the day if the woman became pregnant, for example). Still, if we look beyond the limited perspective of the speaker himself, we can see that Marvell is making a statement about how all of us (regardless of gender or involvement in relationships) should savor the pleasures of the moment. For the poet, there are two kinds of attitude toward the present: (1) activities in the present are judged by their impact on the future, and (2) there is no future state–all activities occur in the present and can only be enjoyed or evaluated by their impact at that moment. The mistress would like to postpone sex (theoretically until she and the speaker are married). The speaker wants to consummate their physical relationship now. Each viewpoint has its reasons, and certainly the woman in the poem would stand to lose practically from premarital sex. Marvell, however, isn’t suggesting that unbridled lust is preferable to moral or ethical restraint; sex is the subject matter, not the theme of the poem. Marvell’s actual point here is that instead of dividing our lives or our values into mathematically neat but artificial categories of present and future, we should savor the unique experiences of each present moment; to convey this theme, the poet uses irre…

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…g up and slowing down time, the speaker’s irregularities of meter create a melody that substitutes the rough spondaic meter for the smoothly regular iambic tetrameter.

By the time they have read (aloud) the entire poem, readers should be less concerned with the poem’s overall moral (or amoral) philosophizing than with its musicality. Marvell, after all, is writing a poem, not a work of philosophy. His use and then subversion of conventional rhyme, rhythm, and meter, create a music that opposes both philosophy and anti-philosophy. Life, these irregularities remind us, exists in the here and now, not on the neatly divided clock or calendar. We cannot control the fact that life is followed by death, nor should we try to do so through fantasizing about the future, but we can control each moment that we are alive: each irregular, spontaneous, surprising moment.

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