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cousin Kate and the Secuction coursework

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Compare and contrast "Cousin Kate" By Christina Rossetti and "The Seduction" By Eileen McCauley paying close attention to the presentation of men and the Treatment of women. "And he muttered little Slag" "The Seduction" We have been analysing two very interesting poems, "The Seduction" by Eileen McCauley and "Cousin Kate" by Christina Rossetti. "The Seduction" was written in the1980s and "Cousin Kate" in the 1860s. Both poems deal with the issue of teenage and illegitimate pregnancy. They are different in that "The Seduction" was written in a more recent time, and set in "Merseyside" where there was a high teenage pregnancy rate at the time. This poem talks about a girl who had been to a party and met a boy who had 'quite enchanted' her. He gets her drunk, takes her down to the docks, and takes her virginity. The girl discovers she is "three months gone" and thinks her life is ruined. "Cousin Kate" is also about a young girl losing her virginity out of wedlock, but this poem was set in the country in the 1860s, where getting pregnant out of wedlock was unacceptable in society and highly frowned upon. In this poem a rich lord fools around with a young "cottage maiden". ...read more.


In "The Seduction" the youth does not flatter his prey but more bamboozles her with talk of worldly subjects of football and boxing, of which she has no knowledge, thus impressing her, which she finds attractive. Therefore, whilst simultaneously impressing her with his knowledge he also effectively excludes her from his world because of her lack of awareness of theses subjects. One factor that both men share is there selfish seduction of two innocent and virginal young women. This is a seduction for their own personal gratification with little if any consideration for the young woman involved. Some emphasis is placed on how the men coerce the women to accompany them although no reference is made in either poem to the sexual act from which both women conceive, McCauley does this here, "He lured me to his palace home" and "he led me to the quiet bricks of Birkenhead docks". In "cousin Kate" the poet goes one step further than in "the seduction" in that reference is made to the fragility and disposability of the young woman "his plaything and his love/he wore me like a silken knot/he changed me like a glove". In the later dated poem chemicals in the form of iodine and nicotine are referred to as contributing to the act of seduction. ...read more.


And whose future is compromised. In "Cousin Kate" the phrase "the neighbours call you good and pure, call me an outcast thing" compares the two woman. This shows that society would accept Cousin Kate because she is an honest woman in a relationship with a respected man; however they will not accept the cottage maiden because her position is socially unacceptable, and this places her apart form society. The view of society in "the seduction" suggests that it is more socially acceptable to be "smoking scented drugs, or festering visibly unemployed" that to be "in the despicable female void of the teenage unmarried pregnant girl. "Cousin Kate" refers to the cottage maiden as "an unclean thing" when she falls pregnant, her society judged her for carrying an illegitimate child. Conclusion To summarise and conclude, the themes of both poems illustrate common threads and subtle differences between the treatment of women and the presentation of men, this is further highlighted by the poems being set in different historical time frames and socio-economic backgrounds, however the outstanding sentiment of both poems is that of the lost potential of the young women who finds herself pregnant and rejected by the society in which she lives. My favourite of the two poems was "The Seduction" I liked this one more because it was a more modern poem and dealt with teenage pregnancy more like it would be viewed today. ...read more.

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