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A comparison of "Cousin Kate" by Christina Rossetti, and "The Seduction'' by Eileen McCauley

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Introduction

A comparison of "Cousin Kate" by Christina Rossetti, and "The Seduction'' by Eileen McCauley The poem "Cousin Kate" by Christina Rossetti tells the story of a young maiden who is attracted to a lord who tempts her with his riches and then uses her. The lord is then attracted to another women Kate. He abandons the pregnant girl for Kate. But Kate refuses to have anything to do with the lord unless they are married and so the lord marries her. They then try for a child but are unsuccessful because Kate is infertile. By this time the maiden's son has grown and so when she hears of the couple's news she boasts of her son. The poem "The Seduction" by Eileen McCauley describes how a girl meets a boy at a party where they dance and talk all night. He then takes her to a riverbank where he takes advantage of her drunken state and sleeps with her. They do not speak with each other again after that night and three months later the girl discovers she is pregnant. ...read more.

Middle

The most important part of poem is the ending and so it can still have a dramatic effect without having it's structure changed. Both the lord and the boy are simply after the girl's bodies. You can tell this because the boy is not seen again after the incident and the Lord changes his women often which shows that he does not get emotionally involved in them. They go about getting the girls in very different manners. The lord flattered and praised the maidens flaxen hair. He also tried to buy the maiden with his land and offered to lift her from mean estate to sit with him on high in his palace home. He is not a faithful or honest man and changed his women like a glove; he liked to have a woman on his arm to 'show off' like a silken knot, the maiden feels that the lord fooled her. The boy does not seem to be very well educated "...eating me dinner" and he does not appear to have a high position in society. You are given this impression because a man with a high status would not taste of nicotine or have a bag filled with shimmering sweet paint thinner. ...read more.

Conclusion

She was then completely rejected by society. She was not given the consolation of having a son to encourage her; at the time she had lost everything that was dear to her. Because of this I felt more sorry for the girl in "The Seduction" than for the maiden in "Cousin Kate" because at least the maiden had her son, the girl had nothing. Also it is easier to understand a person's situation in a time closer to your own than it is to understand a person from over 100 years ago. It was easier for me to sympathise with the girl in "The Seduction" because one of my friends has been in a similar situation, so I had a better understanding of the situation. In conclusion I found both the poems interesting to read and discuss and both the poems had an effect on me, as I felt extremely sorry for both the girls, as I believe that it is wrong for anyone to be treated in such a manner. Both the poems were easy to follow and to understand although they did prove to be difficult to analyse because it is hard to describe what is meant by all the metaphors and the like. Overall I enjoyed this piece of work as it was both interesting and challenging. ...read more.

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