Both poems talk about women that surround themselves in illusion and fantasy. Pathedy of Manners is a story of a woman who is beautiful, popular, and materialistic. While she is intelligent the woman never develops her own pinion on any subject. The poem continues to describe how she has a lively youth and engaged with the rich and elite, but once she settles down she avoids acknowledging her unfulfilled and unsatisfied condition by trying to continue the same shenanigans she experienced while youthful. While Kay’s poem focuses on one woman, E.E. Cummings’ poem describes a specific group of women. The speaker describes the women that live in Cambridge as lacking individuality; they converse about meaningless gossip and are unperceptive of their surroundings.
While reading poems analyzing the point of view can help one gain a better understanding of the poem as a whole. In Pathedy of Manners the speaker of the poem appears to be a person that has heard stories of the woman, but does not personally know her. The speaker describes the woman with a detached and objective tone even when the speaker talks about a recent encounter with the woman. This point of view emphasizes the theme of reality vs. fantasy.
While the woman lives in her self-perceived dream world as she...
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...t best expresses my view of the world is the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls. Often times when I think of people, I picture them in the same light that E.E. Cummings projects in this poem. The speaker describes the women with a very sardonic tone and is rather unrelenting with the insults which I find amusing. One example that comes to mind that is similar to the situation described in the poem is when I see a person wearing a t-shirt for a band that they obviously have never even heard of. I quickly begin questioning them about the band only to find out that I was correct; the person knows nothing of the band. I am always irritated to discover this information and unconsciously insult the person for making the mistake of wearing the t-shirt in the first place. Since my world view is closer to that of Cummings’ his poem draws me in more than Kay’s poem.
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