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As a part of my English G.C.S.E coursework

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Introduction

As a part of my English G.C.S.E coursework I have to analyse and contrast two poems; the first is 'Cousin Kate' by Christian Georgina Rossetti, and the second is Seduction by Elaine McAuley. 'Cousin Kate' is set in the Victorian ages. It is about a young, beautiful working class maiden, who is taken away from her simple life by a lord, to a life of riches and luxuries. She lives a very shameful life because she lives with him and is sexually active with the lord before marriage. She even has a child with him. The maiden's much more attractive cousin appears and the lord is intrigued by her. He leaves the maiden for Kate. The poem has a twist at the end; Cousin Kate is only interested in his money, but she cannot conceive any children for him, and the maiden already has a son of the lord's and he will inherit his father's wealth and land as his heir. A once poor cottage maiden will now live the life of luxury again but in the right way. In 'I was a cottage maiden', by using 'I', I can tell that the poem is in first person and is being told from the victim's perspective; this also gives the reader access to the narrator's thoughts and feelings. The poem is in past tense. 'Cottage' emphasises that she is from a working class background and 'maiden' suggests that she is a virgin, but being in past tense, the use of the word 'was' indicates that she is no more. 'Hardened by the sun and air' suggests that she is an outside worker; 'hardened' suggests that she is weather beaten. This could mean that her skin could be tanned from working in the hot sun. This also indicates that she is lower class. 'Contented with my cottage mates' suggests that she is informal and ordinary. ...read more.

Middle

'Your father would give lands for one' this suggests that the lord will give everything to this son, as he with inherit his fathers wealth and land as this heir. The poem finally ends with the quote 'To wear his coronet' this means that her son will become lord after his father, the maiden has finally won, she beat the lord in his own game and the tone of gratification is in the air, and a once poor cottage maiden will become the mother of a lord. I am now going to analyse 'Seduction' by Elaine McAuley. Set in the mid sixties and 100 years later than 'Cousin Kate' with a very similar theme, but a bleaker outcome. This poem is by Elaine McAuley and it is set in the mid sixties and it is also a contemporary. It is about a young teenage girl, who is seduced by a school boy into having sexual intercourse by trickery and deceit, and the use of alcohol to manipulate her mind and self control. As a result she ends up pregnant, and any chance of a further education and a normal teenage life is destroyed due to this one stupid mistake. The poem seduction is told in third person. Seduction starts with the quote 'After the party early Sunday morning' this suggests that the scenery was early morning and way after the party was over. 'He led her to the quiet bridge of Birkenhead dock' the phrase 'he led her' suggests that he was in control and he led her somewhere away from her family and friends where they couldn't protect her, Birkenhead dock is in Liverpool so by this I learnt that the poem is set in Liverpool. 'Far past the silver stream of traffic through the city' this again emphasises that he took her far away from her family and friends so no one could protect her. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both poets use imagery involving clothing; in 'Cousin Kate the maiden is compared to a 'glove' and in 'Seduction' the girls virginity and purity is compared to 'high white shoes'. And both poems involves trickery; in 'Cousin Kate' the maiden is tricked by a promise of a life together and in 'Seduction' the teenage girl is tricked by the use of alcohol. The two poems also have a lot of differences, a few differences are, both males have different social standings; in 'Cousin Kate the male is a great lord and in 'Seduction' the male is a young school boy. Another difference is 'Cousin Kate' is told in first person and 'Seduction' is told in third person so thy both have different perspectives. 'Cousin Kate' has been written in the Victorian times and 'Seduction' has been written in the mid sixty's and is a contemporary. Finally both poems have different endings; 'Cousin Kate' almost ends with a triumph as the maiden's son will inherit his fathers wealth and land, but 'Seduction has more of a bleak ending as the young teenage girl is left all alone with an unborn child. I really enjoyed both poems as they were both very interesting, and it is very hard for me to choose a favourite, but the poem that stood out to me more than the other would have to be 'Cousin Kate'. I picked this poem because I liked the fact that it had some tone of triumph in the end, and the hint of true love, unlike 'Seduction where a sixteen year old girl was left all alone with an unborn child and an unknown father. My favourite quote from 'Cousin Kate' is 'to lead a shameless shameful life' this is my favourite quote because the maiden does not care what other people think of her because her love for the lord was true. I have now finally analysed and compared 'Cousin Kate' and 'Seduction' and have learned the true meaning of both poems. ...read more.

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