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Compare and Contrast 'Cousin Kate' by Christina Rossetti with 'The Seduction' by Eileen McAuley

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast 'Cousin Kate' by Christina Rossetti with 'The Seduction' by Eileen McAuley In this coursework I will be comparing the two poems 'Cousin Kate' by Christina Rossetti and 'The Seduction' by Eileen McAuley. The two poems have many similarities but there are also some differences between them. To begin I will give an introduction to both the poems. Cousin Kate is about a cottage maiden that is tricked into having an affair with a rich Lord. She is then betrayed by the Lord who decides to dump her. He then marries her Cousin Kate who is much more beautiful than her and who has not yet lost her virginity. The Lord completely forgets about the maid after abandoning her and leaves her all alone. The maiden later realises that she is pregnant with a baby boy who is the son of the lord. The poem ends with the cottage maiden being an outcast because she has got pregnant before getting married but also with her feeling triumphant because here son will one day be the heir to the Lord's lands. The Seduction is about a 16 year old girl who has a one night stand with a boy whom she meets at a party. The boy is into bad habits like drinking and taking drugs. ...read more.

Middle

The women also have many different feelings towards their pregnancies at the end of the poems. At the end of Cousin Kate the maiden describes her child as "her shame, my pride". She says this because she is ashamed of what she ha done but she also calls her baby "my pride" because she loves the baby and the baby will one day be the heir to the lords' estate. The other difference between the two poems is also in the way the men take advantage of the women. In Cousin Kate the lord takes advantage of the maiden by using his social status and his wealth while in the seduction the boy takes advantage of the girl by giving her alcohol. This shows the clear differences between the vents that took place in the two poems. At the end of the poems both girls are judged by their neighbours and the people around them which has a very negative affect on them. The lines "call me an outcast thing "in Cousin Kate and "you always looked the type" in the Seduction show the way in which the girls are treated badly by the people around them after they get pregnant. While there are many differences between the two poems there are also many similarities between them. ...read more.

Conclusion

The night's events in the seduction are shown in a very dark and almost scary way by the poet. She uses words like "with fingers that stroked her neck and thighs" and "little slag "to show how the boy uses drinks to get the girl to go with him to the Birkenhead docks and have sex with him there. The poet describes the night's event very well in this poem. They make me feel sorry for the girl and realise how innocent and na�ve she was. She should have never taken the drinks and fallen into the boys trap. I prefer the poem Cousin Kate because in this poem the maiden has some hope for her future in the end because her son will be the heir to the lord's estates. She has something to look forward too. She can also feel triumphant because her Cousin Kate will not have nay children. The ending of the seduction though is much bleaker with the girl having no hope for her future and even feeling like committing suicide. I think the attitude to teenage pregnancy was almost the same in both these poems even though they were set in different times. Even today the attitude to teenage pregnancy is very bad and girls who get pregnant in their teen years are treated as outcasts by society which is very wrong. Even if a girl does get pregnant society has to accept the fact that she has made a mistake and give her another chance. ...read more.

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