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Alphonso uses many catches, all of which helped convince Mr________ to accept Celie in marriage. Some of these bribes included “You can do everything just like you want to and she aint gonna make you feed it or clothe it” and “She’d come with her own Linen. She can take that cow she raise down there back of the crib. ” These quotes show how her Pa believed he owned her. The possession he held for Celie was so great that he was able to offer her for marriage not because of the person she was, but for the things she could bring with her, and the chores she was able to complete.
Browning’s Poem “Porphyria’s Lover” uses the plot of this dramatic monologue to represent and tie in the aspect of possession. The man in Porphyria’s life is so engaged in the fact that Porphyria has some sense of feeling toward him and believes that her connections with the outside world is the only thing keeping her from staying with him.
This man is so in love with Porphyria that she is able to make everything for him feel better. To him, Porphyria is above all else and changes the atmosphere almost automatically. When glided in Porphyria; straight she shut the cold out and the storm, And kneeled down and made the cheerless grate Blaze up and make the whole cottage warm. ” Another way Walker uses her novel to develop possession, is when Celie decides to leave for Memphis with Shug, to get away from Mr______.
After years of dealing with her husband’s ways of life, putting up with all the beatings, and having to deal with being owned, Celie decides that everything would be better off living with Shug who truly cares for her.
The true feelings and the streak of possession starts to truly show when Mr______ hears of this. He exclaims to Celie “Who you think you is?.. You can’t curse nobody. Look at you. You black, you pore, You Ugly, You a woman. Goddam, he say, you nothing at all”. He uses this to try to persuade and convince Celie that she will be no good away from him, but it does not work. She follows her feelings and escapes from the life with him. Similarly, “Porphyria’s Lover” is another example of the man trying to gain possession over the women in his life.
Alternatively, Browning allows the man to effectively gain this possession. On realising that Porphyria truly does worship him, and that no matter how much her heart tells her that she loves him, she cannot tear herself away from her vein attires; he becomes determined on what to do. He realises that there is only one way to keep their love together, perfect and pure. “That moment she was mine, mine, fair, perfectly pure and good. I found a thing to do…. And strangled her. ” This example showed how the possession was so great, that Porphyria was unable to escape.
An additional way Alice Walker uses “Color Purple” to develop the idea of possession, very alike to Celie and Mr_____ relationship, is the marriage of Sofia and Harpo. Harpo does not like the idea of Sofia doing her own thing, having her own ideas and independence and so he confides with his father on what he could do. Harpo becomes convinced that to remove this independence, he needs to beat her. On attempting to beat Sofia, Harpo realises that she is not going to give in that way, and how much of a fight she can put up.
On deciding that there is no way he is able to win in the frame he is in, Harpo starts to eat uncontrollably in attempt to put on weight to triumph over Sofia. “He eating more and more each day… Harpo eat when he aint hungry… ” This still does not help him to succeed in possessing his wife. In Browning’s poetry, Porpheryias’ lover actually succeeds in possessing his love. By murdering her, he was able to keep the love between them both, allowing her joyful heart no longer to be able to break. He was able to preserve the moment of perfect love and justify it despite everything.
At once, he was able to hold her, and keep her forever. “Only, this time my shoulder bore her head, which droops upon it still: The smiling rose little head, so glad it has its utmost will”. The next aspect of Love developed in “Color Purple” is the Powerlessness of women. The poem that relates to this aspect is “Child Wife” written by Oodgeroo of the Tribe Noonuccal. Both these texts help to portray how women in different cultures have to deal with the same feeling of being powerless, as well as having no say in what happens in their life.
Walker again uses Celie’s relationship with her “Pa” as a way to form examples of the way women lack power in their life. Alphonso uses Celie to perform many of his duties, take care of the children as well as for his pleasure. “He never had a kine word to say to me. Just say you gonna do what you mammy wouldn’t…He start to choke me, saying you better shut up and git used to it. ” This quote from the beginning of the novel explains how Celie’s Pa used to sexually assault her and how she was never allowed to say a word to anyone. She had no choice or say in what happened to her and always had to do exactly as she was told. Child Wife” is a similar example of the Powerlessness of women. In this poem the young girl has no choice and is forced to marry an old man The cultural ties in this tribe “Noonuccal” mean that young woman’s husbands are determined by everyone but the women herself, and don’t take into account any lovers or any other aspects in their life. “My childhood over, I must sit forever, and the tears fall down” explains how devastated this young girl is about her marriage, but does not have the rights to be able to walk away or say no.
Mr______ and Celie’s marriage is again a great example of the Powerlessness of Women. Mr_____ has sex with Celie without ever discussing or caring about Celie’s feelings or wants. Celie explains, “Most times I pretend I aint there. He never know the difference…Never.. Just do his business, get off, go to sleep. ” Sex is just an enjoyment for Mr______, a chore, part of the business of being married. Because Celie is tied to marriage with Mr______, she has no choice but to learn to deal with it.
Oodgeroo, of the tribe Noonuccal, once again uses her poems very similarly to the powerlessness of women in “Color Purple”, the only thing being that this young lady is restricted by traditions as well. The tribal traditions in Noonuccal meant that all husbands are chosen by the leaders, not based on age or the girls wants, but on what the man can provide and do, as well on what they personally think would be best for her. In this case the decision is what makes this young girl the least happy “They gave me to an old man, joyless and old. This leaves her doubting her life’s happiness and wishing she could have what she really wanted. “It was love I longed for, young love like mine, it was Dunwa wanted me…” Another relationship in “Color Purple” of which the man tries to take the woman’s power is Sofia & Harpo’s marriage. Harpo attempts for quite a long period to beat the independence out of Sofia to gain more power in their relationship. The more Harpo tries to beat his wife, the more determined she becomes in doing her own thing.
Eventually Sofia has enough and leaves him, taking with her all her children. “They come early one morning in two wagons to pick Sofia up. She doesn’t have much to take…The children. ” This is Celie’s description of when Sofia’s sisters came to collect Sofia and save her from any more hassle with her husband. Harpo had attempted to make Sofia powerless, but failed, losing all his family in the process. Oodgeroo describes the young girl in “The child wife” surrounded by “Happy the small birds Mating and Nesting, Shrilling their gladness No grief may drown. Oodgeroo uses this part of the poem to explain that everything else around this little girl is happy, with no grief or sorrow, making her feel trapped by happiness. She has no choice but to be with this old man forever, powerless and drowned in pain. The third aspect of Love described in “Color Purple” and the last poem “At Seventeen” by T. S Elliot is loves absence. This aspect does not communicate the same ideas right throughout the two texts but is an aspect of which affects many characters and people in their day-to-day life’s.
Whether not having experienced love, losing one that is loved or having been separated from a lover, Loves absence in either one of these texts can and does cause many emotions to evolve. Most of these emotions are powerful and are capable of accumulating into negative feelings. The only similar example, which helps to relate “Color Purple” and “At seventeen” in the same way, to the aspect of Loves Absence, is with Celie at the beginning of the novel. Celie never understood how somebody could fall in love, as she had never witnessed it herself.
Nobody had ever been attracted to Celie, only ever using her for what she could do and for sex. Walker uses the quote “She not so pretty…Just that head of hair…Sure too black… ” to show how many people used to see Celie before Shug came along. Before Shug, Celie never really understood the meaning of true love. The same idea of Love’s absence, as shown in the first example in “Color Purple”, is shown all the way through T. S Elliot’s poem “At Seventeen”. The seventeen year old in this poem has realized that she just cannot compete with the peers her age and that she is not good enough for love.
She thinks she does not have the looks or the money to attract anyone to love her. “I learnt the truth at seventeen that love was meant for beauty queens And high school girls with clear skinned smiles”. Elliot uses quotes such as this all through the poem to describe how this seventeen year old believes she is everything but glamour or beauty. Loves absence in this poem has lead this young girl to become mournful, pessimistic and depressed, at the same having a grandiose image of other girls on a pedestal compared to herself.
It has lead her to believe that love is a shallow emotion only about beauty not about the person within. As a result, she leads herself to thinking she will never be able to fall in love because she feels she cannot compare. A diverse example but of equal significance in Walkers novel is between Celie and her sister Nettie. Even though the physical absence between the two sisters in this story is immense, and continues to grow and extend, Celie and Nettie still feel the same love and bonds for each other. “The years have come and gone without a single word from you.
Only the sky above us do we hold in common…One day I will find myself gazing into your eyes…Oh Celie! ” The passion that is showing through in this quote is becoming an all-consuming thought in Nettie’s mind, forming constant worry and anxiety about where her sister is and if they will ever meet again. The last example that transmits the same idea of Love’s absence in “At seventeen” comprises of the quote “To those of us who know the pain of Valentines that never came…and those of whose names were never called when choosing sides for basketball”.
This does not use the same illustration as what Color purple does, as the young girl had never had a love, to lose. Instead, she wishes she had experienced the love of which others boast about. All these texts, “Color Purple”, “Porphyria’s Lover”, “Child Wife” and “At Seventeen” represent very similar but divergent issues and aspects that help develop the common theme of Love. Each one of these aspects has helped to demonstrate the boundaries and connections that can evolve in the process of Love.
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