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Compare Cousin Kate and The Seduction.

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Introduction

Cousin Kate and The Seduction 'Cousin Kate' was written by Christina Rossetti in the nineteenth century. Her most popular piece of work was the Christmas carol 'In the Bleak Midwinter'. 'Cousin Kate' is a narrative poem and it is spoken in the first person narrative. 'The Seduction' was written by Eileen mc Auley in the twentieth century. 'The Seduction' is also a narrative poem and it is written in the third person narrative. The theme for each poem is the same in which both women were used by men, thrown to one side and left pregnant. Men ruined each woman's life and created a bad name for her around the community. Even though the poems are written in different centuries and nowadays it may be more acceptable to have a child out of wedlock, the fact remains that some women are still judged and treated as outcasts. In 'Cousin Kate' we see 'The neighbours call you good and pure Call me an outcast thing'. While in 'The Seduction' it says: 'And better, now, to turn away, move away, fade away Than to have the neighbours whisper that "you always looked the type".' The men in each poem are in sharp contrast to each other in the method by which they seduced the women. The maiden in 'Cousin Kate' was seduced in pleasant surroundings by a wealthy lord. ...read more.

Middle

The mood of 'Cousin Kate' is quite romantic to start off with but then it suddenly changes to a mood of bitterness and tension, resentment and depression. However, the poems ending is on a happier note and the poet portrays the image of the pleasure that the child has brought the mother. We can also imagine the pride and love the mother has for the child. The cottage maiden is gloating and is triumphant. 'Your father would give lands for one to wear his coronet'. The girl in 'The Seduction' had a very negative reaction and attitude towards the fact that she was going to bear a child and she also feels cheated because it has ruined her life. All her dreams are in tatters. She is cynical and bitter. The mood in this poem is cold through out. The fact that the girl was drunk when she became pregnant appears to make her attitude towards her child quite callous and depressing. The boy is portrayed in the simile- 'With his eyes as blue as iodine and the kisses that tasted of nicotine'. The 'kisses that tasted of nicotine' suggests coarseness and the unpleasantness of the taste of nicotine. The following quotation portrays a mood of anger and hatred: 'On the carpet. And on that day she broke heels of her high white shoes (as she flung them at the wall). ...read more.

Conclusion

We also see in 'The Seduction' how debased life has become: 'I'll take you to the river where I spend the afternoons, When I should be at school, or eating me dinner. Where I go, by myself, with me dads magazines And a bag filled with shimmering, sweet paint thinner'. The words used are vulgar and common in our society and they paint a bleak picture 'He spat into the river' 'He handed her the vodka and she knocked it back like water'. The image of filth and vulgarity is developed by the similes: 'The Mersey, green as a septic wound' The language used in 'The Seduction' is blunt and creates a sleazy, hard hitting image. I preferred 'Cousin Kate' rather than 'The Seduction' because the story line of 'The Seduction' is rather sad with a young girl seduced by a young boy and left to bear a child. This situation is quite common nowadays so no-one thinks it is a 'big deal'. Even I have seen young girls in this situation before and it probably always will be the case where the people still blame and talk about the girl, not the boy. I found 'Cousin Kate' interesting because I had never come across this situation before and it was also a nineteenth century piece and I am interested in this era because I am studying this in History. The imagery in this poem is also more romantic and more pleasant to read. ...read more.

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