Is Felicite a saint or a simple-minded servant? Is she neither or both? Outline your perspective on her character as compared to Mme. Aubain’s. How do they differ?
1. Considering the definition of a saint is to be one, whom is considered exceptionally holy, I did not find Felicite to be a saint, but rather a simple minded servent with a kind heart. At one point Felicte took care of a prior father, Colmiche, and bandaged his burst tumor and nourished him in his time of need. This was the most saintly act, in my opinion, that took place throughout the story, but not enough to constitute saintliness. Felicite and Madame Aubain had the love of family in common, which guided many of their decisions in life. They had very different ways of showing their affection though, where Felicite would spend every moment of her available time with her nephew, Mme. Aubain’s daughter and son; while Mme. Aubain simply wanted the best path in life for her children and would send them away if it would be to their betterment. Later, Mme. Aubain does find that she must be closer to her daughter, especially when she becomes ill. Both Felicite and Mme. Aubain are religious people, but Felicite spends much more time in prayer and devotion. Late in the story Felicite begins to idolize her parrot, which I believe is where the saintly factor goes away, as she becomes simply blasphemous. Choosing to place her parrot in the place of the lord, as a center piece, is idolitry. Mme. Aubain is rather harsh and gathers no true admirers. Both her and Felicite allow themselves to be used by family or close friends, in situations where it was all to obvious. Felicite is taken advantage of by the her nephew’s parents, providing mending and food every time Victor visits and Aubain’s decisions are guided by the swindeler,Bourais. Although they had a couple of common characteristics, their characters displayed distinctive differences.
How are women imagined & 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 shows contradictory despisal of man’s insatiable thirst for lust, while at the same time cherishing the beauty of women, which causes this flair of desire. Women are not as strongly characterized by their personalities or attributes other than beauty, which leaves them in death as seen in The Carcass. They seem to be more symbolic of beauty than anything else as they are described with words such as angel, dream, tenderness. Men on the other hand are described as being weak willed and easy targets of the devil. He identifies himself as a part of this generalization calling each brother in their unfortunate battle.
How are Chidam & Chidara distinct from Rama & Sita?
3. The most obvious distinction between the two couples is their place in the caste system. Rama & Sita were to be at the highest level of the cast system, if Rama was to replace his father as intended. This upbringing that they received taught them fore-thought, patience, strong will and a good set of morals. They would do anything for each other, except for Rama’s need to remain faithful to honor and his promises preventing him from initially wanting to take Sita to the wilderness with him. Chidam and Chidara are at the lowest level of the caste system. They have learned hardship and that domestic violence and shouting are commonly accepted things in their place of society. These people are not well educated and have not learned the necessities of planning, common law, or even patience. They act rashly as characters and have such pride and stubborness in the case of Chidara, which lead to their downfall as a couple. The symbols that each couple represent are not even remotely simlar as one set represents virtues and the other, vices.
Pick a Yeats poem & discuss what it communicates to you & why?
I chose When You Are Old because it is one of very few poems in the selection that I felt I may have been able to relate to and understand, at least remotely… The poem is declared to be to Maud Gonne, in the preface, but even without that declaration I noted the symbolism and message that he may have been sending to her. Yeats immediately paints a picture of life in the future as it may be for her, in the comfort of fire and books, but without mention of a lover by her side. I believe this is to signify that if she continues to deny his “pilgrim soul,” who would embrace her aging beauty, then she may miss fulfillment in a love that is pure. Yeats writes that she would “Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead and hid his face amid a crowd of stars.” In this, his beloved is sad because her chance has passed and he, with love and thoughts beyond the plains of common, would simply take his place among the countless stars always watching.