Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Pre 1900 and Post Poetry Comparison: Christina Rosetti Essay

In this assignment I will be analysing two poems, ‘Cousin Kate’ and ‘The Seduction’. Christina Rosetti wrote ‘Cousin Kate’ in 1879. In this poem Christina describes a cottage maiden who was discovered by a wealthy Lord who appears to fall in love with her but deceives her because half way through it becomes apparent that he is using her for her ability to have a child. The Lord desires a son in order to have an heir to his belongings. During his time with the maiden he comes across Kate who is the maidens younger cousin. The Lord then ditches the Maiden for the younger sexier cousin Kate. When the Lord is with Kate the Maiden discovers she is pregnant with the Lords child and has a baby boy. She has mixed feelings for her son, as she is ashamed of him because she is not married to his father but also proud of him because he is hers. The Maiden does not inform the Lord about their child. Kate fails to inform the Lord that she is incapable of having children because she knows that if she tells the Lord he will ‘dump’ her for another. The Seduction is written by Eileen McAuley and is based in the 1980’s in Blackpool. The poem is about a teenage girl who goes out clubbing for what seems to be her first time. Half way through the night a boy about the same age persuades the girl to join him at an unromantic place near a river and gets her heavily drunk. He then seduces her into having sexual intercourse. Then after 3 months she discover she is pregnant due to that one nightstand. The main elements of ‘Cousin Kate’ are love and relationships, marriage, motherhood abuse of power and wealth, betrayal and the roles of the female characters. I will start with the element of love, there are three different types of love and relationships shown in ‘Cousin Kate’. One type of love and relationship shown is the true love given from the Cottage maiden towards the Lord and the relationship she had with him. She would over look everything he did to her, which he threw back in her face when he ditched her for her cousin Kate. It became apparent that all he wanted from her was the sexual pleasure. The other kind of love and relationship is the pretend love that Kate shows the Lord. She didn’t care what the Lord did to her because all she really wants is his money and wealth. The Lord also shows pretend love towards both the Cottage Maiden and Cousin Kate, he shows this love in order to use them for his pleasure and also to help him get a son/heir. He also couldn’t care less about his relationships with them as long has he got what he wanted. Next I will move onto marriage. There is only one marriage in this poem and that is between cousin Kate and the Lord to quote the poem â€Å"he bound you with his ring†. Kate obviously is only marrying him for the money as she does most things with him for that reason. Motherhood only comes into the poem at the very end where the cottage maiden has the Lord’s child and feels mixed emotions about him, as she is ashamed of him because she is not married to his father but also proud of him because he is hers, to quote â€Å"My fair haired son, my shame, my pride†. Abuse of power and wealth and betrayal enter the poem through the Lords actions like his ability to get whatever girl he wants for whatever he wants e.g. when he goes after the maiden, she falls in love with him but he has no feeling for her he just wants sexual pleasure and a son. He also does the same with Kate but she just goes with him for money nothing else. He betrays the maiden when he ditches the maiden for her sexier, younger cousin Kate. The female roles are basically about the women that have fallen for this wealthy Lords charm then the lord will use these girls for his pleasure. The themes in ‘the Seduction’ are almost the same but vary in certain ways because it is a more modern poem and substances like alcohol and drugs are involved where as in ‘Cousin Kate’ it is more a case of true and pretend love. First of all I will go through the love that the teenage girl drunkenly displays towards the boy. Because she was drunk she wasn’t in the right state of mind so wasn’t thinking straight when she was supposedly falling in love with him. I cannot explore the element of marriage because there is no type of marriage in this poem at all. Motherhood comes into the poem after she discovers that she pregnant in the way she nurturers the baby when it is in her womb and also because she suddenly realises that she is going to miss out on having fun with her friends or have the romantic walks hand in hand with a boy. The teenage boy abuses his power over the girl by abusing the situation and getting her even more drunk than she already was so that he can go through with his plan to have sex with her. The teenage girl feels betrayed by her magazines because they portrayed the image to her saying that her first time would be romantic. She also feels betrayed by the boy as he promised her that he would take her out sometime but he left her and she didn’t see him after that. The role of the female character is to be the target of the teenage boys lust. In both of the poems there are morals in ‘Cousin Kate’ the moral is don’t go with someone just for money or find out a about his personality before going with him and in ‘The Seduction’ the moral is learn to handle your drink and don’t leave with someone you don’t know or can’t trust. The Cottage Maiden show a lot of emotions in the poem and the poem was written in first person so that the writer can express those feeling better. When you write in first person you can express the emotions as though they are your own and it also makes the poem one sided, as you don’t hear any of the lord’s point of views. The mood in the poem is grief-stricken and down as the cottage maiden is always speaking with a non-happy attitude until the end where she becomes unconcerned about her cousin Kate’s fate with the lord as if that her fault she picked that fate and she got what she deserves and that’s that which I think is a bit of a selfish laid back attitude and isn’t right. Christina Rosetti uses a lot of imagery to describe the feelings of the cottage maiden e.g. â€Å"your love was writ in sand† which doesn’t mean that she actually wrote how much she loved him it means that her love wasn’t true it was gone before she even meant it. In â€Å"The Seduction’ Eileen also uses imagery e.g. â€Å"with his eyes as blue as iodine† this uses the image of blue iodine but iodine is actually a yellowish brownie colour which also suggests that Eileen was again implying the idea of how drunk the girl actually was. The mood in ‘The Seductions’ changes half way through because the girls attitude changes from an all starry eyed drunken girl who falls in love with a teenage stranger to a emotional broken down wreck who hates the boy because of what he did to her. Another way that the writers get imagery and mood across to the reader is by using figures of speech like metaphors, personification, similes and rhetorical questions. When the writers use these they help to create the mood of the poem for example when Christina uses the rhetorical question â€Å"why did the great lord find me out, and praise my flaxen hair?† this creates the mood of despair which means a over whelming sadness and she’s wondering â€Å"why did he pick me and ruin my life I could have been pure and had a better future than what he’s left me with.† Another figure of speech is where Christina uses the metaphor â€Å"I could have been a dove† this doesn’t mean that she would actually been a dove, the dove is a sign of purity which when she uses it in this sentence she means that the cottage maiden would still be innocent. In ‘The Seduction’ Eileen uses the simile â€Å"green as a septic wound† to describe a dirty old river by which the boy truants and gets ‘high’ from taking drugs, she uses this simile to create a depressing mood because it is such an unromantic, disgusting place he has taken her to and by this point in the poem the reader knows something isn’t going to go the way the girl planned. The place that the boy takes her to is described in a few different ways, another way is â€Å"far from the blind windows of the tower blocks† and this describes the place as hidden away from the rest of the world and this also gives a reason why he does what he does here and that is because there won’t be any witnesses to back up any court case the girl might have put against the boy. The male characters in the two poems are both deceiving characters that use charms to get what they want and in both cases it is a girl they want to use for sexual intercourse. They are presented as cunning men who only desire one thing, sex. They treat the women with disrespect to quote ‘cousin Kate’ â€Å"he wore me like a silken knot† which means that he treats her as he would treat a piece of clothing easy taken off or put back on when wanted. Now I will quote ‘The Seduction’ with â€Å"She giggled, drunk and nervous, and he muttered ‘little slag'† this suggests that he doesn’t care who the girl is as long as he gets what he wants and it also suggests that he will take advantage of any girl no matter how drunk she is. In my opinion the writer wants us to feel that they are selfish cruel men as both the writers describe them in this way, to quote ‘Cousin Kate’ â€Å"He saw you at your fathers gate, chose you and cast me by† this indicates that he doesn’t care about the maidens feelings when he casts her by he just wants a better looking girl that suits his every need but he does not yet know that Kate is unable to produce a child otherwise I predict he would also cast her by. The female characters are the foundations for both of the poems and we know more about them than we know about any of the male characters. We know that both of the main female characters suffer from an unwanted pregnancy and are presented as young innocent girls who are seduced by the male characters and both are left to carry the burden and shame of their unwanted pregnancies. The girls have a few different ways of reacting to their situations they react by being upset, disillusioned, bitter, frightened and angry to quote ‘The Seduction’ â€Å"And on that day, she broke her heels of her high white shoes (as she flung them at the wall). And realised for once that she was truly truly frightened, but more than that cheated by the promise of it all† this suggests that she becomes frightened by the thought that she can never regain her innocence and dreams. They are then both stereotyped by society as being ‘loose women’, the type that sleeps with any man. In the ‘olden days’ single pregnant women would be cast out of society, very poor and classed as the lowest of the low where as today they would receive all types of benefits from the local government and would not be frowned upon. The cottage maiden is a strong character because she has chosen to live and raise her son independently without the help of the Lord but the teenage girl is more afraid of societies reaction to her pregnancy and wants to run away from the shame. I think the poems are both wake up calls to open our eyes to see the poverty that goes on around us and even though they are set in different times that, message will always need to be heard as poverty is always going to be there whether we like it or not. I respect only the cottage maiden in ‘Cousin Kate’ because of the way she way mistreated but stayed with the Lord because she of the true love she showed towards him and then when he throws her love away for Kate, she becomes a stronger women and embraces society so that her and her son can live a happy life. Society has change a lot over the last 150 years because now everyone is treated as an equal and it doesn’t matter what religion, race or his or her class is, I am not saying that stereotyping doesn’t happen as that will always be an ongoing factor of life. In conclusion, we can see that the poems are very similar in there themes as they are both about girls that get seduced into having sex or a sexual relationship. Both poems also have the same moral behind them, get to know the person before you go to far develop a sexual relationship.

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