Compare the ways in which any two texts in this topic area examine relationship between men and women.
Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare and Carol Ann Duffy’s poems examine relationships between men and women. According to their themes, both texts would talk about women being seen as objects of desire by men, women being dominated by men and women being on the losing end in a marriage. However, they differ in ways which some themes like women being dominant in a relationship and women objectifying men are mentioned in poems like Queen Kong and Dear Norman by Carol Ann Duffy but not mentioned in Taming of the Shrew.
Both taming of the shrew (TOTS) and poems such as Standing Female Nude and Shooting Stars by Carol Ann Duffy shows the sexual objectifying of women by men. In TOTS, at their first encounter, Petruchio keeps twisting Katherine’s words into sexual innuendos ‘women are made to bear, and so are you’ as well as ‘with my tongue in your tail?’ . Petruchio’s pun on the word ‘bear’ can either mean as women bearing children or women bearing the weight of a man in sexual intercourse. Also ‘my tongue in your tail’ suggests an act of oral sex. These show how men sexually objectify women as Katherine is suggested of such sexual advances even at their first encounter.
Similarly, in Standing Female Nude, the painter ‘stiffens for my (her) warmth’ and ‘he dips the brush repeatedly into the paint’. ‘Stiffens’ suggests the arousal of sexual desire in the painter and the act of dipping ‘the brush repeatedly’ suggests the act of relieving his sexual desires. Also, in Shooting Stars, the phrases ‘One saw I was alive.Loosened/his belt”. This means that the only thing that comes on in the soldier’s mind after seeing her alive is to rape her and that she is merely an object for him to quench his sexual desires .This shows the sexual objectification of women by men as the painter could not help but ‘stiffen’ for the nude model infront of him and the soldier could not help but associate the woman with sex, as seen from his actions. Therefore, both TOTS and these two poems show how sexually objectified women are in their various relationships with men.
The Danger of Playing the Sport: The 1920 s and Dorothy Parkers Big Blonde. The 1920 s and early 1930 s, also called the Jazz Age, was a time for fun and showing off. Dancing, going to dinner parties, and drinking and smoking with friends became the highlight of the times. The economical world had come to the forefront, placing great importance on commodities. Cars, jewelry, and an attractive ...
The two texts also discuss the dominant role of men in a relationship- be it in a marriage or in society. This is shown by Petruchio’s dominance over Katherine in TOTS and in the poem The Dummy by Carol Ann Duffy. In TOTS, Petruchio dominates over Katherine by not letting her sleep or eat in an attempt to ‘tame’ her and he refers to this as the beginning of his ‘reign’ and afterwards, Katherine mentions that women are ‘bound to serve, love and obey’. This shows that in a marriage, men can have complete authority over women, as signified by the word ‘reign’ and that women have to not only comply but also to ‘serve, love and obey’ and this shows the dominance of women in a marriage.
In the poem The Dummy, the persona, a ventriloquist’s doll, is drawn parallel to a woman while the ventriloquist represents men. The phrases ‘the voice you give me’ and ‘I can’t tell you/anything if you don’t throw me a cue line’ shows that woman rely on men for support. ‘the voice you gave me’ shows that women need to rely on man to stand up for them as having a ‘voice’ symbolizes voicing out their own opinions and it could also mean that women doesn’t have a view of themselves but are influenced by the views of men around them. Also ‘ I can’t tell you /anything if you don’t throw me a cue line’ reinforces the point that women’s views are influenced by men much as the topic of the conversation would be influenced by the cue. This shows how men are able to influence their views on women and this again shows that men have dominance over women till the extent that they are able to enforce their views on them. Hence, both TOTS and The Dummy shows how men are more dominant than women in their relationships – be it in a marriage or in the society.
Their Eyes Were Watching God: Summary Doug Wink P-7 2/22/97 A caterpillar crawls along a desolate branch. His many appendages grip the gray bark as he undulates his body along the path in the shade. Creeping steadily forward he is looking for the proper place suitable enough for him to change his identity. Upon finding a twig sprout where he can get bilateral support, he builds his cocoon. After ...
The subject of women being at the losing end in a marriage is also portrayed in TOTS as well as in the poem Whoever She Was. In TOTS, Katherine loses her identity after getting married to Petruchio. Before marrying Petruchio, she was referred to as an ‘intolerable curst’ who is ‘shrewd’ and ‘froward’ and refuse to give into men but afterwards she mentions that her ‘lances are but straws’ and that women should ‘kneel for peace’ instead of offering ‘war’. Therefore, we can see the change in Katherine’s personality and say that she has indeed taken on a new identity and has lost her previous identity and in this process, she has lost the freedom that she once enjoyed.
In Whoever She Was, the phrases ‘My maiden name sounds wrong’ and ‘She cannot be myself’ shows the persona’s internal struggle as she tries to remember her past identity. ‘My maiden name sounds wrong’ shows that she now has a new identity and is not used to her past identity anymore and the fact that it’s her ‘maiden name’ shows that it was the identity that she has before she married. Also ‘She cannot be myself’ shows that her past identity and her present cannot integrate with each other. And hence this shows that the loss of identity in women after marriage is prevalent and is portrayed by both TOTS and Whoever She Was.
However, there are still some themes that TOTS did not portray. In Queen Kong and Dear Norman, women take on a dominant role in their relationship with men via physical attributes and sexual fantasizing. In Queen Kong, the persona is a giant ape and is in love with a man. She refers to him as ‘My little man’ and when he died, she shaked him ‘like a doll’ and that ‘in his silent death’ he will hear her ‘roar’. ‘My little man’ signifies her physical size and shows that she is the one that is dominant in the relationship while ‘shaking him like a doll’ bring about an imagery of a child losing her favourite toy and that brings about the idea of him just being an object of fascination for her. Moreover, the fact that he will hear her ‘roar’ in his ‘silent death’ shows that she has outlasted him and in the survival of the fittest, she certainly is fitter and hence more dominant than her. Hence this shows how she is the dominant one in this relationship and not the other way round.
How does Steinbeck present the relationship between George and Lennie in this chapter? The author John Steinbeck presents the relationship between the two characters, George and Lennie in different ways as they are both different characters and have different personalities. He presents it like a parent and child relationship, with George being the parent and Lennie the child. As soon as the reader ...
Secondly, in Dear Norman, the persona is a woman sexually fantasizing with the men that she sees every day. The repetition of ‘I’ in the poem shows her empowerment and self-centeredness and that she wants to be the dominant one. The line ‘ I shall name him Pablo, because I can’ shows that she is the one in control and that she can do anything she likes with him. And since a person name is his own identity, it is safe to say that she is trying to determine her own version of his identity on him and this is the complete reversal of the social norms in which the men enforce their own version of the women’s identity on them. Hence we could say that through sexual fantasies in her head, she has managed to gain dominance over her imaginary relationship with a man.
In conclusion, the two texts are similar in their portrayal of some themes such as the loss of identity in women after marriage, the sexual objectification of women by men and lastly, how women are dominated by men in a relationship. In contrast, TOTS did not portray certain themes such as women reversing the social norms and gaining dominance over men in a relationship.