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Hypocrisy in E.E. Cummings’ the Cambridge Ladies

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The Hypocrisy of Communal Identity in cummings' the Cambridge ladies  

E.E. Cummings’ [the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls] is an enigmatic, ironic and sarcastic poem which reveals the unreal, fraudulent lives that the Cambridge ladies live. The poetic speaker’s tone is filled with sarcasm and irony to show the contradiction between the Cambridge ladies’ actions and beliefs. This discriminating voice is used when speaking of the Cambridge ladies’ Christianity, their communal identity, and when speaking of their frivolous concerns. Depth and empathy, both of which the ladies lack, are juxtaposed against the women’s emptiness and indifference. Collectively, the Cambridge ladies share the inability to connect to their religion and to the exterior world that surrounds them. In addition, Cummings contrasts nature imagery against the material and socially based Cambridge Ladies. Because these ladies are well endowed and isolated from the outside world, they are not able to fully comprehend the reality of issues.

Through this comparing and contrasting, E.E. Cummings is...


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...s. The Cambridge ladies forget to see and understand the individual beauties in life such as the moon. Everything they believe is internalized by their social doctrines; they leave no room for change or for new ideals. Therefore, they are unable to associate with the serenity of nature or with a world separate from themselves. Because they are assigned to a societal doctrine in which they have no control or say over, they become apathetic to its causes. They no longer concern themselves over problems and “do not care” about anything at all. 

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