Essay about Innocence versus Sexual Awakening

Essay about Innocence versus Sexual Awakening

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Innocence versus Sexual Awakeming

The transition from childhood to adulthood is a complex but universal passage. Both Katherine Mansfield's "The Wind Blows" and D.H. Lawrence's The Virgin and the Gipsy embody adolescent angst in their characterization. Matilda and Yvette search for meaning beyond the lives they perceive they are condemned to lead. Both bring about greater understanding of the struggle between a young girl's struggle of innocence versus sexuality. In similar uses of metaphor and imagery the stories tell the tale of social convention, romanticism and sexual awakening.

The Virgin and the Gipsy is written with little surprise or subtlety in it, as is suggested by the title. Lawrence has a theme of human connectedness throughout the story. However there is force that threatens the conventional existence of Yvette. Yvette is a young girl that in her own way was rescued by a dark manly figure from outside her world. However the stories intrigue is the intensity and conviction written by Lawrence. We never learn about Yvette "which they don't and would never see" (Lawrence 75). "The Wind" goes through little in the way of dramatic action. Our understanding of Matilda comes with her frustration of seemingly meaningless chores and a simple routine to wistfully thinking of places far away.

The characterization from The Virgin and the Gipsy is more complex than that of Mansfield's short story. The denial of the two protagonists' emotions lead to the eventual loss of childlike youth and spontaneity "Her young soul knew the wisdom of it"(145). Only slightly more expansive is the tale of Yvette which lasts only two seasons, the latter spans only a day with a brief reflection in the end. Through thoughts a...


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From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to the blockbuster movie Titanic the struggle against social convention, class structure and awakening desire is universal. Virgins and gypsies are both fascinating to our society by reason of depleting numbers. The sexual awakening that occurs in Mansfield and Lawrence depictions occurs through different means but conveys the same message. Every individual goes through a natural right of passage from childhood to adulthood. With the change of adolescence come sexual desire and maturity. The outcome or moral underlying these two stories is to become aware of the struggle of conformity versus consciousness of ones own sexual desire.

Bibliography:

Lawrence, D.H. The Virgin and the Gipsy. New York: Viking, 1992.

Mansfield, Katherine. "The Wind." The Story-Makers 2nd Ed, ed. Rudy Wiebe. Toronto: Gage, 1987.

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