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Pablo Neruda 100 Love Sonnets Afternoon Section Analysis

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Olivia Braley Ms. Korona English 2A October 2011 Pablo Neruda Afternoon Section Literary Analysis In the Afternoon section of Pablo Neruda's 100 Love Sonnets, he focuses on the "afternoon" of he and Mathilde's relationship, in other words, the part that follows their romantic and passionate beginning. Neruda begins his section by writing of a relationship that faces the challenges that every couple must ultimately face-- from the establishment of a home, to the routine of day to day life, to the doubts that inevitably arise-- and ends with the reassuring revelation that his love for Matilde is worthy and true. In the first few sonnets of the Afternoon section, Neruda makes many references to a home with his beloved. He begins the first sonnet with, "Love, we're going home now" to indicate that they are literally going back to their home in Chile. In these sonnets he describes with vivid imagery their home and their life together in anticipation of their return; Neruda is depicting such things as the vines that "clamber over the trellis," small details of their home that make it their own. ...read more.


As the sonnets progress, Neruda makes reference to turmoil in his relationship with Matilde. He speaks of "January rough times," which is significant in that Matilde is gardening in a majority of the sonnets in the Afternoon section; however, "January" implies that there is minimal growth in her garden and in their relationship. The first few sonnets possess a hopeful tone, where Neruda writes things such as "our problems will crumble apart... and here where we live will all be clean again, with fresh bread on the table" and "nothing should separate people but the sun or the night, the moon or the branches" (Sonnet XLI, pg. 89; Sonnet XLII, pg. 91). At the first signs of strife, Neruda is denying that there is a serious problem, and reassuring himself, more than anyone, that the issues that he and Matilde are facing are easily overcome- he does not want to admit that there may not be an easy resolution to their problems. The sonnets quickly lose their optimism, and by Sonnet XLIII, it would appear that Neruda and Matilde were seperated to some extent. ...read more.


107, Sonnet LI, pg. 109; Sonnet LII, pg. 111). The Afternoon section ends with the phrase "this path, starry and blue as the night, this never-ending simple tenderness" (Sonnet LIII, pg. 113). Those last few words tie together the Afternoon section, because at the beginning of the section Neruda and Matilde were settling into a simpler, unwavering love, and, although there were obstacles along the way, by the last sonnet of the section, they have reached that true, simplistic love and devotion. Through the 21 poems that constitute as the Afternoon section of 100 Love Sonnets, Pablo Neruda has described the realities of love; the section is composed of sonnets of bliss and of sorrows. Although the poems are still dedicated to Matilde, they focus more on Neruda's intrinsic developments. They explore his own thoughts and discoveries of life and of love, most prominently, the fact that there is no love without heartache, just as there is so day without a night to compare it to. With that, Neruda himself was able to gain insight to the nature of his loving relationship; however, the realizations he came to apply to many other relationships and situations in life. Word Count: 1476 ...read more.

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