Category Archives: Week 12

Lesson 12: Flaubert; Baudelaire; Rimbaud; Tagore; Yeats

  1. Felicite is a saint. She faces love boldly and is denied, but that doesn’t stop her. She bravely forges forward in her life, and is a mentor to Mme. Aubain kids and thinks of herself in terms of her usefulness to other people. For example, when she saved Mme Aubain and her kids from the bull, she was courageous without even thinking about it. Although she is perhaps nothing special at a first glance, and is without higher learning, she exemplifies the characteristics that embody a hero, and a saint, because she refuses a life of attachments and excessive comforts, almost subconsciously, but I am convinced it is because she is a source of higher teachings, much like Rama in the search for Dharma. She is a model for the children, and is kind and without an ego, and has a seemingly spiritual relationship with her parrot friend.

Mme. Aubain, on the other hand, is learned and educated, and yet with that knowledge comes a certain ego and bitter view of the world that is due to her wealthy and privileged mind that makes her single-minded and not very relatable. Felicite, on the other hand, is entirely open-minded and is more capable of experiencing the world for what it has to offer than Mme. Aubain, who already has a certain disposition from the world.

  1. The imagery I get form Baudelaire’s depiction of women is highly sensualized. He seems as though he respects them and their contribution as a romantic role in his poems, but otherwise he doesn’t go into it much more than that. For example, some of his poem titles are very sensual, like “Avec ses vêtements ondoyants et nacrés” (With Her Undulating and Pearly Garments), and “Parfum Exotique” (Exotic Perfume). In the latter, some lines include, I “inhale the fragrance of your welcoming breast’ and “Guided by your fragrance to these charming climates,’ it is very sexy and yet you do not know the woman Baudelaire is talking about, nor is any more information given except the effect she has on him.
  2. Chidan and Chandara and Rama and Sita are polar opposite couples. When Rama is exiled, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana join him, and they spend 14 years in exile together. When Chidan’s brother finds his wife hasn’t made dinner one night, he kills her and Chidan blames his wife, Chandara for the murder. Whereas Rama and Sita do everything for each other and are supportive, Chidan throws his wife to the gallows and Chandara’s final act was of defiance at her husbaNd.
  3. The poem that spoke to me was “Lida and the Swan.’ I chose this poem particularly for the unsettling way the imagery powerfully put the image of a huge bird raping a girl into my head. The fact that this feat can be accomplished with only a handful of stanzas, it’s quite remarkable. He so accurately describes the helplessness of the girl, and the violence the bird was inflicting on her, with words like beating, staggering, shuddering, and yet he also inputs sensual terms in there by talking about her thighs. It’s very unsettling but also powerful.

Discussion Questions 12 — Flaubert; Baudelaire; Rimbaud; Tagore; Yeats


  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?

I believe that as it states in the title, she is but a “Simple Heart”. Both kind and naive to the world around her, Felicite is both loving of those in her life and excepting of the lot she has been given in life. Mme. Aubain is less outwardly kind and more caring in the sense that she wants what is best for her children. She seems to see Felicite’s affection for them as coddling. Overall they both have good intentions just with differing directions.

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 seemed to demonize women and their beauty(all while describing their beauty). I had a hard time discerning his love or hate for the fairer sex, but it seemed that it was because although he loved the beauty, he also knew that the same beauty could be or was also his or mans undoing. Men in Baudelaire’s writing seem weak and lack willpower of any notable standing. Men in this light are out to gain only satisfaction and thus are easily lead astray by women.

  1. How are Chidam and Chandara distinct from Rama and Sita?

Chidam and Chandara have a bitter and callus relationship, constantly bickering. Their relationship seems to me to be one of convince more than that of love.  I feel that this is contradictory to the relationship of Rama and Sita which seemed to be more of love, respect and honoring the other. Chidam and Chandara also come across as petty and vengeful while Rama and Sita showed a more strait forward and honest love for each other.

  1. Pick a Yeat’s poem and discuss what it communicates to you and why.

I have the hardest time discerning the meanings or poetry, unless completely straight forward. So I looked at “Leda and the Swan”, a twisted tale made poem. Leda a young girl is raped by the Greek god Zeus in swan form.  The poem itself conveys the rape, and was easily understandable, however, I could not tell the tone of the poem overall, the author neither commits to define this as a divine encounter or a violent rape, I assume this is purposeful to let the reader decide.  I also noticed something interesting while looking for a image to include in my post, that most of the artwork associated with this tale, that I could find, do not depict  a violent rape, but a sensual encounter or something similar. I ultimately chose not to include a image of this do to the contrasting views on the poem and imagery.

Flaubert; Baudelaire; Rimbaud; Tagore; Yeats

1) I am inclined to believe that Felicite can be grouped as both a saint and a simple-minded servant. If I were to lean one way or the other, I would probably say Felicite was more of a simple-minded servant. But at the same time, I would venture to say that a saint would probably be more effective in their beliefs and in their actions if they were also simple-minded and not so much curious about thoughts or experiences outside the realm of devout holiness. Felicite did not appear to have a whole lot going for her at an early age, and this shaped her thinking. As a result, Felicite hung on to whatever it was she had been given. Felicite became Mme. Aubain’s servant and clung to that as a means of survival; she also clung to Virginie, and in her absence clung to Victor until his departure and death. She then clung onto Loulou even after the bird died by having him stuffed.

Felicite was not fortunate in life the way many would ever hope or dream to be. But she somehow had enough to live a life of devotion to Mme. Aubain. Mme. Aubain differed from Felicite of course in that she was widowed mother. She also had a house and was generally well off. It certainly seemed as though Mme. Aubain lacked the power to do much of anything herself. She first let her son go to a boarding school because she belived that would be the proper place for him since he lacked a father, and then later sent off Virginie to a Convent, believing she needed to be made “into an accomplished person” (528). And then she had Felicite do mostly everything around the house. So the key difference between her and Felicite was that Mme. Aubain was a societal figure as well as a mother, while Felicite was a person with great strength and resilience that was vital to ensuring Mme. Aubain could continue to exist as a societal figure and a mother. But what was common to both women is that they were entirely dependent on each other in their daily lives.

2) In Baudelaire’s poems, I primarily see women being looked at as object’s that appeal to men. I especially see this in the Invitation to the Voyage, where it seems that a man’s appeal to a women to embark with him on a journey to a land located at one of the four corners of the Earth would be much more splendid than if he were to go it alone. After this, I have much trouble penetrating the true meaning of his works with regard to women. It seems that he characterizes men with great jubilance when they are young and bold. Later in life, as they come near the end, as in the Song of Autumn I, he depicts man as frail such that “My spirit is like a tower whose crumbling walls The tireless battering-ram brings to the ground” (605). It seems as though both sexes are regarded as virtuous and appealing when they are young, and decrepit and worthless as they become old. Perhaps this is his perception of reality.

3) The key difference is Chidam and Chandara’s devotion to each other was partially superficial. They both were highly desirous people by other potential partners out there. Whenever a life event did not seem to add up in their life and possibly hint of an occurring scandal, they were quick to act out toward each other. In essence, there was a lack of mutual trust between them, and they may have used manipulative psychology in an attempt to keep the other spouse from committing adultery.

After Radha’s murder by her husband, Chidam weighed his love for his wife against that of his brother and decided to implicate his wife in the murder. Although clearly in a bind, Chidam’s love for Chandara wavered. And Chandara never forgave him for this. In the end however, Sita’s love for Rama was unyielding, and she aimed to prove her faithfulness to him despite his perceived callousness toward her. Rama and Sita went on to live a long and happy life together. Chandara of course met her end at the gallows.

4) In Easter 1916, I see a lament being given to all the sacrifices made in a long struggle for Irish Independence. It is said that “Hearts with one purpose alone, Through summer and winter seem Enchanted to a stone To trouble a living stream” (851). The hearts with one purpose alone are the figures carrying out the movement for independence, and they conduct their struggle with nonstop pursuit against the British authority, the living stream. But this struggle has its vices; “Too long a sacrifice Can make a stone of the heart” (851). Surely there is a better way, for as Easter 1916 goes on, “And what if excess love Bewildered them till they died” (852)? Perhaps this poem was meant to make future revolutionaries think before they act? That would be my interpretation.


Flaubert; Baudelaire; Rimbaud; Tagore; Yeats

1. There is sort of a reoccurring theme to these questions about the reading our class is going over and basically what I am recognizing is that these stories have plenty of morals to them. Felicite always had good intentions when going about her life. She was always a good person and always had faith towards God. Although she does not really appear to be a saint, she always tried to be a very warm person with good intentions. Compared to Madame Aubain, they both had to deal with deaths of people very close to them. Madame Aubain’s husband died and she had to deal with that. They are different because Felicite was a more loved filled person all around as for Madam Aubain’s intentions may not have been that nice in order to provide for her children.

2. In the poems that I’ve  read about women, she is always described as a very amazing and beautiful human being with such an elegance to her and then something bad after that or along with it. He also describes them in a way to be very sexy and more as an object in some eyes. So, I guess in a way it is contradicting. With men, he describes them as weak in the mind with only intentions to gain satisfaction.

3.  Chidam and Chandara and Rama and Sita are very different from each other. Rama and Sita have a very loving and dedicated relationship to where they want to do anything they can for each other to keep one another happy. Chidam and Chandara have almost the exact opposite of a relationship from Rama and Sita. They are constantly fighting with each other and they are both very conniving. Selfishness is a very good word to use when describing why the relationship is how it is.

4. I chose the poem, “The Rose Tree.”  In this poem, which is about a tree who grows.  Joy makes the tree shake its leaves. Yeats is telling his beloved not to look into the mirror, or only for a little while, because a dangerous image grows there. All things turn to barrenness and mirrors hold the image out of tiredness. In those frightening places the ravens of unresting thought fly, and make one’s eyes unkind.

Felicite and Yeats

1. Is Felicite a saint or a simple-minded servent? Is she neither or both? Outline your perspective on her character as compared to Mme. Aubain’s. How do they differ?

I didn’t think Felicite was a saint, exactly. She certainly loved Mme Aubain’s children with her whole heart and soul, and seemed to be just as naïve as they were. She wasn’t raised very well, being shuffled around her whole life after the death of her parents, and didn’t seem to be educated at all. She seemed to have kind of a desperation to be loved, and I think the simple-minded label fits better than the saint label. Mme Aubain, however, seemed to be a woman who could take care of herself just fine, and did after the death of her debt-riddled 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 seems as if he’s controlled by lust a lot of the time in his work. He likes women’s bodies, but he doesn’t like their spirits and personalities. He describes the younger women in his work as full of “grace and measure, richness, quietness, and pleasure’, but the image of the old woman rotting on the road and the knowledge that “you, in your turn, will be rotten as this’ seems as if he’s maliciously laughing at the fact that women will turn old and ugly. I didn’t see men described quite as in depth as he described the women; it seems more that he sees men as simply stating facts (like he does in his poems).

3. How are Chidam and Chandara distinct from Rama and Sita?
Chidam and Chandara couldn’t be any more different than Rama and Sita. Whereas Rama and Sita were always trying to be better people, and loved each other dearly, Chidam begins the story with a lie. Neither Chidam nor Chandara trust each other, and fight all the time. After his brother kills his sister in law, Chidam asks Chandara to claim the killing, reasoning that he can get another wife but he can’t get another brother. Once Chidam realizes that he actually wants his wife to live, he gives her a script to follow so the police won’t charge her with murder. The problem is, after yet another fight, Chandara doesn’t care about what Chidam wants anymore. He wants her to claim the killing? Fine. She doesn’t stick to the script, meaning that after a long trial, she’s led to the gallows. She even refuses to see her husband at the end. Both of these characters are more concerned with themselves than anyone else.

4. Pick a Yeats poem and discuss what it communicates to you.
I chose “Lapis Lazuli’. The poem begins with a description of the hysteria that overtakes the citizenry during World War II, and compares it to the description of Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet’. Yeats, through his poem, is telling the citizens to calm down and remember that although the world is at war, there is no need to be hysterical and depressed. The poem actually reminded me of the poster “Keep Calm and Carry On’. Yeats is saying to carry on and do your job without the tears, and to remember the good things in life. After all, he’s got the “Lapis Lazuli’ — given as a gift from his friend, the little statue depicts two Chinese men climbing up a mountain, happy as could be, even though the cracks in the stone make it seem as if they’re climbing through an avalanche.

Worldly Poets of the 1800’s

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?

I’m not entirely sure if saint is the correct adjective to use in this instance but I do believe that Felicite was just an overall good quality person.  She had a kind and caring heart that led her to do the right thing, care for other people and strive to know god. I think that she fits the simple-minded servant better than being called a saint.  She had a lot of rough times throughout the story from losing her parents, to being beaten for something she did not even do.  Throughout all of this she was able to keep a good heart and mind.  I think a major difference between Aubain and Felicite is that Felicite just wanted to show her affection up front all the time. By that I mean that she just wanted to to spend all of her time with Mme.Aubain’s kids and nurturing them.  Aubain wanted what was best for her kids all of the time but this sometimes led to her doing things that did not seem very nice at the moment like sending them off to school for their betterment.  Felicite seems like a more “saintly” person up front as she spends a lot of time in devotion and prayer. She is a lot softer spoken and kinder up front while Aubain is a bit less careful with her words. However, Aubain does not beat around the bush, so to speak, and also has her priorities set in a lot deeper where are Felicite has an imagination that rivals a child.

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, I thought, is very confusing in his work.  On one hand, he says all of these extremely poetic and deep meaning things about girls and their beauty, femininity and tenderness and on the other hand he talks about them in a way that just makes the male population sounds like a bunch of terrible people describing them in a way that is very lustful and provocative.  When he talks about men its mostly just to say that males are weak minded and lots of other harsh stereotypes.

3. How are Chidam and Chandara distinct from Rama and Sita?

The two groups are pretty much the exact opposite. Rama and Sita are very kind and unselfish while Chidam and Chandara are really just looking for how they can help themselves.  Rama and Sita were always looking for how they could help someone else while Chidam and Chandara had some different kinds of morals and looked out for themselves.

4. Pick a Yeat’s poem and discuss what it communicates to you and why.

I chose When You Are Old because it was one that kind of stuck out to me.  I think it was kind of a bummer for sure when the actress kept shooting down the guy who actually liked her for her and not just cause she was famous.  People suck sometimes so I was kind of rooting for him to just kick her to the curb and move on but he really did love her so he continued to do so. I thought this was pretty cool.

Flaubert; Baudelaire; Rimbaud; Tagore; Yeats

  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?

The definition of a saint, in accordance to the Catholic church is a person who after death, may be the object of veneration and prayer.   To me, Felicite seemed more of a simple-minded servant who may have had some saint like attributes.   I think that she had a natural inclination to do her job to the best of her ability, and was a very devote servant.   However, a saint to me I always thought of as someone, who although human, seemed to be perfect.   By this I mean they are selfless, never are one to complain about their trials, etc.   “…never did she mention her anxieties’ (Flaubert 530).   However, in more than one instance, I think she struggled very much to be like a saint (although I doubt this was her intention) “Felicite sighed and thought that Madame lacked feeling’ (Flaubert 528).   I think that her mistress, Mme. Aubain tries to put on a more severe front, but inside has a soft spot, especially for Felicite.   After the death of Virginie, they reminisce and hug each other.   I think that both Felicite and Mme. Aubain are very similar in the way that they want whats best for the children and have a very tender love for them, however they differ in their social standings and different spots in the household.

  1. 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?

It is my interpretation that woman (for the most part, Baudelaire seems contradictory on the subject) are seen in the same way.   Very beautiful creatures, who over time, decay and turn into diseased, putrid things.   Baudelaire, in his poem, Her Hair, describes a woman’s hair as a getaway from a hectic life.   “Ill plunge my head, enamored of its pleasure,… Lulled by the infinite rhythm of its tides!’ (p 602).   Contrarily, in his poem The Carcass, he describes a woman in very vivid terms as “Sweating out poisonous fumes, Who opened in slick invitational style, Her stinking and festering womb’ (p 603).   Yeats seems to agree in that woman only have a certain number of days until “All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born’ (Easter 1916/ 851).   It seems to me that Baudlaire describes man to be the keeper of all memories.   As he describes in his poem Spleen LXXIX, he compares man to that of a tomb.

  1. How are Chidam and Chandara distinct from Rama and Sita?

They are totally opposite couples.   Sita was devote and loving to Rama, and vice versa.   While Chidam and Chandara are the opposite; they quarrel and have a very bitter relationships.   Upon her death penalty, Chandara doesn’t even wish to see Chidam, I think she told her story so she would get the death penalty so that she could escape her husband.

  1. Pick a Yeat’s poem and discuss what it communicates to you and why.

When You Are Old, by Yeats, made me think of my grandparents.   What this communicated to me was that, when you are old, and possibly coming to the end of your road, you at some point will sit and reminisce on your life.   The decisions you made, your loved ones, etc.   It was a bit sad, but seemed so true for me.   I would say though that thinking about your decisions doesn’t just happen when you are old and by yourself, I think that this could happen at any stage in your life.

Worldly Poets of the 1800’s

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.

A Simple Heart, Punishment, Poems

  1. Felicite is a very kind hearted, yet simple-minded servant. She is simple-minded due, I believe, to lack of opportunity rather than lack of effort. Being orphaned, Felicite had no education and, lived in virtual social isolation. Although uneducated, Felicite is described as an extremely diligent and hardworking women. The things she does, she does well. When Felicite had the opportunities to learn, such as when she went with Virginie to catechism, she took full advantage of them.

While Felicite may have been simple, she loved deeply. I do believe that she cared more for Mme. Aubain’s children then did the madam herself. Felicite was able to think of her own family as well as that of Mme. Aubain. The character of Mme. Aubain is displayed in her thought for Felicite. When Felicite mentioned that she had not heard from her nephew in six months, Mme. Aubain initially didn’t remember who Felicite was talking about, then promptly dismissed Victor as less important than her own daughter. When Felicite finds out about Victor’s death, Mme. Aubain does not attempt to console her or grieve alongside her, but instead leaves her by herself. Felicite is expected to continue with the household chores as if nothing had happened.


  1. I had trouble finding any consistency in the way that women are described throughout these poems. In Leda and the Sawn, the girl is described as being at the mercy of the Swan. Leda is depicted as the “staggering girl’ who is “mastered by the brute blood of the air’ (853). In the poem Among the School Children, the teacher of a school is a nun. Teachers are thought to be stable, firm, and reliable, rather than helpless, as women in some other poems which we read were characterized.

Baudelaire describes and affirms qualities of women, such as shapeliness, femininity, and beauty. He does not describe qualities of a woman’s personality, instead focusing on their physical attributes. Women are portrayed as an asset which men must work to hold on to. Men must take full advantage of this asset for as long as they can because at any moment, Baudelaire conveys, it might vanish. In the poem Her Hair, Baudelaire describes a lover who stays only because she receives from his hand “stars of sapphire, pearl, ruby’ (602). Without these gifts the women will be “deaf to my (the speaker’s) desire’ (602). In A Carcass the speaker describes the fate of his lover. Although he adores her now and appreciates her physical beauty, she will inevitably become a thing of disgust, moldering into the ground. The speaker has his lover for only a short time before she becomes despicable.

Baudelaire does not describe men to the extent to which he describes women. Men are typically the ones speaking. When a relationship is described, they are the one who are working to hold onto a women. Men are depicted as the more thoughtful and used of the sexes.


  1. Rama and Sita have a great love for eachother based on mutual sacrifice. Sita was willing to give up her comfortable home to move into the forest with the banished Rama. Rama, when Sita was taken, was willing to travel across the earth and battle monsters in order to retrieve his love.

Chidam and Chandara’s love seems to be based on convenience. When each approves of what the other is doing, then they are filled with love. Chidam is willing, however, to sacrifice his own wife to save his guilty brother. Chidam tells Chandara the defense that she should make, hoping to save her. When Chandara realizes the position her husband has put her in, her heart hardens, and she resolves to go to the noose intentionally to spite her husband.

Sita and Chandara are similar in that both of them are portrayed as having a strong will. Chandara, earlier in the story, runs away from her husband’s house, repeatedly going against his wishes. In the end she hard headedly goes to her death, although she is not guilty. Sita is given the opportunity to stay in the palace when Rama leaves, and although Rama begs her to stay behind, she resolves to go along.


  1. In the first stanza of The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats, a number of scenes are described. Each picture is skewed in a slightly horrific way. A falcon, typically directed by his master, “cannot hear the falconer’, a “ceremony of innocence’ is corrupted, “the centre cannot hold’ his post any longer. It is as if Yeat is describing all things of normality as coming to an end, replaced by chaos.

In the second stanza the speaker looks to the future. If everything is turning toward disaster, must not the end be near? The speaker mentions the Christian event of the Second Coming, the event at which the world will end and all will be made right. His tone is desperate, yet confused and mocking. It is as if he does not believe the Second Coming to truly be the answer, but he also doesn’t know what other option there is. If there is no hope of a Second Coming, will the world continue to spiral in despair?

Simple Minded Love

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.