1. Felicite is an uneducated person that had been through a harsh and painful life, full of despairs and disappointments. After being betrayed by the man that she fall in love with, she moved to Pont-I’ÃˆvÃªque, where she was hired as a servant by Mme. Aubain’s. Felicite is a simple-minded servant, because she lacks the capacity to understand the complicated intentions of human beings and circumstances associated with human’s executive functions, such as, decision making, planning and problem solving. She does not seems to understand the social rules based on social roles and economic status, therefore she is unaffected by social pressure and reputation. She simply lives her life day-to-day, performing her duties with excellence. At the same time, her love is also simple. She loves her mistress along with her children for taking care of her economically. Her love is unconditional. She is a very forgiving and kind person. In contrast, Mme. Aubain is a middle-class widow that lives her life with the expectations of society that comes with a complicated life. She worries about the economic status and social status of her family, reputation and prestige, as well as, the education of her children, including religious expectations of culture. I think that there is a hidden symbol, in that Mme Aubain died before Felicite, in that a complicated life will kill you faster.
2. I believe that Baudelaire’s picture of men is one of despair, is the reality of life in that men are slaves of their own boredom, the inability to set goals and to have a strong will in not giving up until obtaining them. I perceived that Baudelaire’s depiction of woman is a contradictory one. The woman in “Her Hair’ is compared to a sea, in which the men floats in her curls or sea waves. Is a form of escape for men’s reality to a fantasy of pleasure. It glorifies the beauty of the woman and the pleasure of being in love with her. In the other hand the woman in “A carcass’ is depicted as a horrifying reality, is compared to a corpse rotting in his path, sickening picture with flies and maggots, waiting to be eaten by a savage animal. It denigrates the woman, and pictures a grotesque form of a woman. The fact that its starts by describing how her legs were spread, and compares it to a whore, it gives the impression as if the woman is the one to blame for, as if she is the one that crosses in his path and that seduces man, but the true reality is that her love is as repulsive and terrifying as death. I think Baudelaire intention is to show two types of woman, both unforgettable, the one that men gets to love and the one that men gets to hate. It is the reality of life when you fall in love, a chance game.
3. Chidam is a hard worker husband that is constantly exploited and humiliated due to his lower socioeconomic status. Chandara is a young wife, who although took care of him and herself properly, was not a submissive wife. She confronted Chidam for not bringing more provisions when he worked for more hours. Chidam does not follows his moral duty. He rather lied to the legal adviser saying that Chandara killed her sister in law in order to defend his brother. In consequence, Chandara felt that it was better to die than to assume the required gender role in such unjust society. The story of Chidam and Chandara depicts the reality of living under the regimen of a socially stratified society, for which the moral duty is defined by social and gender roles and economic status, where the upper classes exploits the lower classes and the woman is supposed to be obedient to the man. It demonstrates the psychological and behavioral consequences caused by the oppression of such kind of social order in the family structure. In contrast, the story of Rama and Sita portrays that morality has to be based in social stratification in order to achieve a social and moral order. Rama is depicted as a hero, because he follows his moral and social duty, without any lack of conviction. He is a prince, and although his socioeconomic status was lowered and he was persuaded by different beloved ones through his dethroning, he still pursued his required moral responsibilities as the prince, husband and son. Sita is a submissive wife, who followed Rama even into the most dangerous places, who embraces the moral and social role as a wife.
4. The poem “Among School Children’ communicates to me the harsh reality of life of the process of aging. As the poet entered in the school of children, he seemed to remembered a girl that was a student, for which he fall in love with: “Her present image floats into the mind-.’
However, now he realized that she is no longer beautiful because she is old like a scarecrow, but it is better to accept the fate and smile:
“And I thought never of Ledaean kind
Had pretty plumage once–enough of that,
Better to smile on all that smile, and show
There is a comfortable kind of old scarecrow.’
He describes the contributions of Plato, Aristotle and Pythagoras, but at the end of that verse, he states that no matter how great they were, they could not change the nature’s path–to age: “Old clothes upon old sticks to scare a bird.’ Although I could not quite grasp the concept of the last verse, I believe he was stating that aging is a process of despair.
Do you think it’s possible though that Felicite’s simplicity and that unconditional love she was capable of is saintly?
Nice job analyzing baudelaire.
I really enjoyed how you analyzed Felicite and the dynamics between Chidam and Chandara. Their acceptance of moral and social duty differ largely from Rama and Sita. I do not think love played a role so much in either relationship than the adherence to these rules and ideals and the consequences of them.