1. Is Felicite a saint or a simple-minded servant? Or is she both? Or is she neither? Outline your perspective of her character as compared to Mme. Aubain’s. How do they differ?
Both of these ladies loved everything. They loved the way they thought love was supposed to happen. One loved from a realistic point of view and didn’t let love stand in the way of what she thought was correct and one loved from a point of view of a child…she loved everything.
Felicite was in a sense a saint, as I could see how her purity could route her that way. But I could also see how one could categorize her as just being simple minded. I mean she after so many disappointments, turned her love to a parrot of all things. Not that birds should not be loved…but still. She endured losing her parents at a young age, being accused and then beaten even though she did not do it. She then loved a man named Theodore, who left her too ! For an older woman who had lots of money. But still she kept being her normal self, still a kind-hearted servant, but still simple minded. She made no changes to her life even after several losses, almost like she was shell-shocked, still trying to reach for things that were never really there. Like the love of a parrot. But I don’t think personally, Felicite was simple-minded at all just because she had no education, I think she was just loving, period.
Mme. Aubain was a lady but so many definitions. She was a widow after her husband died and she lost a lot of her wealth with him. But unlike Felicite, she did not continue to reach for things that were not there. She got rid of the large house and downgraded to the town home. She sent her children away to school, despite the feelings she had. I know I would have kept the children, like I believe Felicite would have because it would have been the only memories I had from the late husband.
2. How are women imagined and characterized in the poems you read? What attitude is implied? Is it dual or contradictory? Does Baudelaire give similar weight to the description of men? What definitions of womanliness are depicted, affirmed, or criticized in his work?
Baudelaire’s description of woman almost reminds me of the description of a siren in the other writings. A beautiful woman out to do no good. I also find it very abrasive and really dark the way he writes about women that he does not write about men. He basically said men are great and could be greater if it was not for the epitome of sin, being women. He says women are great, their physical beauty amazing but they are worthless and nothing but temptation. I would actually prefer never to read his work ever again.
3. How are Chidam and Chandara distinct from Rama and Sita?
Rama and Sita are the definition of Dharma, they lived to serve something greater than themselves and they always acted upon what they thought was right for the bigger picture. Chidam and Chandara only acted for themselves. They were never concerned about what they would do to other people, they only wanted what could get them what they wanted at that time. So Chidam lied and Chandara was jsut trying to teach him a lesson. Go figure, you died…that really will teach him! I think that the way his personality was set up is that he will just find another wife anyway.
4. Pick a Yeat’s poem and discuss what it communicates to you and why.
I am choosing to the poem by Yeat’s called, “When You Are Old”, I am choosing to do this poem because it talks of an experience I almost missed out on. Yeats was in love with a a rich actress named Maud Gonne, an actress among other things but she shot him down time after time. She grew old and he was trying to tell her, think about the people that loved you when you were fabulous and feel bad because you didn’t take those people with you. Look at a book, or in my case a year book, and realize that I loved you and will continue to love you. My husband now, loved me since 11th grade and 8 years later I am glad I didn’t pull a Maud Gonne on him and chose to love him. So he better love me when I am old and gray…or else.
It is kinda scary how fast time flies, in the moment you don’t realize it and then ‘POOF’ its gone. Like for instances its already going to be Thanksgiving!! Just crazy. I liked your comparison with Maude Gonne, that was really cute and I’m glad to hear it worked out for you!
With Chadam it was sad his way of thinking, that his wife could so easily be replaced.. He was so self centered and only cared for him and his brother. Nice job!
I liked how simple Felicite could love – even a bird. I think she might have a better way of life being more child like. We loose so much of the wonder as we mature. She never lost that wonder. I am sure your beloved is thankful you are not a Maude Gonne. I wonder if some of the loves in my past think this way of me when I turned from them and chose another path? I found my true love but before others thought they where it….hmmmm. Oh, the questions one thinks of!
In some ways you described Mme. Aubane as being better off that Felicite. I had never thought of that, but I can see how you might have that perspective. Mme Aubane was able to move on after her husband died, but I don’t know that she truly ever loved again. Although Felicite may not have moved on, I think she was the happier of the two.
I think you’re right that she may have never loved again.. I think that on the loss of Virginie I think that it made her realize that?
I actually laughed, when you wrote that you would actually prefer to never read Baudelaire again. I took the same general ideas away in his descriptions of women and men. It seemed that he was saying that a woman is a seductive vice and not really a person. He did not give them personality, but rather spent more time on physical features and ultimately the ruination of men. His writing is, for the most part, vulgar and I could see why he was censored in his time.
I am very happy for you and your husband finding each other and holding on. My wife and I almost missed out on our opportunity, when we split up prior to my joining the service, but the power of telecommunications is too strong and we found each other again. I spoke of the same poem to her earlier and we laugh at the beauty of growing old together and are very glad to have acted upon our opportunity as well.