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.