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Wise children essay

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Compare and contrast carters presentation of lady Atalanta and daisy duck A close analysis of Carters' characters of Lady Atalanta and Delia Delaney in "wise children" will present several similarities and differences between the two. Both women were wives of Melchior hazard, but they vary greatly in terms of personality. The outcome of their personalities is backed up by carter with an insight into their family backgrounds, financial status, and early lives, presented through the character of Dora Chance in a series of anecdotes. Carter presents Delia Delaney as a somewhat extreme character, in contrast to the character of Lady Atalanta, although the idea that she does have morals is also conveyed throughout the novel at certain points, for example her reluctance to tell Genghis khan that the baby she is carrying is his although it is actually Melchior's. Delia was born in the Bronx, New York on what Dora refers to as the "wrong side of the tracks". Unlike Lady Atalanta, Delia's career escalated resulting in her becoming wealthy, maintaining this wealth towards the later stages of her life. Her start in life was vastly different to what the glamorous exterior of the "classic thirties blonde" might indicate. She came from a family of several brothers and sisters, and her father was a fish peddler who was caught in a cross fire resulting in his death. Her family were poor, as Dora reveals she "didn't have a pot to piss in". ...read more.


Lady Atalanta is a very different character to Delia Delaney. She is conveyed as a very respectable, controlled character. Born into a family of aristocracy, Lady A is a lady in her own right, although she later descends from wealth to poverty. At the beginning of the novel we see that she ends up living in the basement of Dora and Nora's house, confined to a wheelchair because of an accident. This presents the question Dora asks herself, "did she fall, or was she pushed?" indicating that the accident could have been the fault of her daughters, Saskia and Imogen. A very resonant attribute of Lady A's personality is her self control. All the way through the novel she "retains the manner of a lady" and has a consistently genteel fashion. Her life appears to be quite monotonous due to her condition. It is clear that she is still in love with Melchior after several years, as watching him on television makes her "perk right up." She also has a large portrait of him hanging in her Sussex home. She doesn't have a great deal of dialogue throughout the novel, although towards the end she gives a dramatic speech about how Melchior has left her "womb empty" because his concentration became solely on his career rather than on family life. Dora says she "got it all off her chest in one go", however astonishingly, as the outburst she has is rather poignant, she still maintains her calm, ladylike manner. ...read more.


Her dialogue is also very significant in contributing to her crude persona. She had "heart shaped pubic hair". Carter skilfully focuses on very minor details to convey the idea that although she wasn't a very attractive woman, she took pride in her appearance. Both women are similar in terms of career. They were both actresses although Lady A was Shakespearean and Delia was a Hollywood actress. They also both had relationships with Melchior and Peregrine, but both only married Melchior. They are vastly different in terms of early life, they came from contrasting financial situations and families, Lady A went from wealth to poverty, the opposite to Delia, also Lady A gained wealth from talent, as opposed to Delia who gained wealth from Melchior, and sexual relations with those in the fame industry. Carter skilfully creates differences between the two characters through dialogue, and the way Dora describes them. An extremely simplistic and subtle, yet significant difference between them is their names. Lady Atalanta reflects someone from an aristocratic background, and the almost fictional name of "Daisy duck" reflects a Hollywood starlet, although the fact she changes her name to Delia Delaney does convey that she grows slightly more sensible with age. Carter successfully creates a range of similarities and differences between both characters, inventing two opposing characters that become increasingly interesting to the reader through her vivid descriptions and language. ...read more.

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