Love and Lust in Play-By-Play, Sex without Love, and Junior Year Abroad

Love and Lust in Play-By-Play, Sex without Love, and Junior Year Abroad

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Love and Lust in Play-By-Play, Sex without Love, and Junior Year Abroad

   Lust is an incredibly strong feeling that can prove to be almost uncontrollable, leading it to commonly be mistaken for love. Due to the relative closeness of these emotions, both are often confused, and even when one is in love he or she does not recognize it. Many think that love just comes knocking on one's door and one will know when it does, but they don't realize that for love to occur a relationship has must be worked out. Love is described by some as fireworks, tingles, and butterflies in the stomach; but it is lust that can cause these things to happen, and it is these that mark only the beginning of a relationship. After a while, these feelings die out, and this is when the honeymoon period is over; it is from this point on that the relationship will either end or get stronger and eventually lead to true love.


Lust is the main idea behind the poem "Play-By-Play" by Joan Murray. The tale being told is of older women well past their sixties admiring much younger men playing softball from up on a terrace over-looking the field. The women are gawking at

the flex of a batter's hips

before his missed swing, the wide-spread stride

of a man picked off his base, the intensity 

on the new man's face

as he waits on deck and fans the air. (Murray 837)


The poem goes on to tell of the women, who "...haven't put aside desire/ but sit at ease and in pleasure,/ watching the young men" (Murray 837). This work obviously shows how the women lust after the attractive young men, and clearly are not in love; any one of these men could have been replaced with another attractive man and would have m...

... middle of paper ...

...ediately, and she would have realized the mistake she had made. In this poem the main character is lustful of both the new man she has met in Paris as well as the man she left behind her homeland, although she was under the false perception that it was love.


The often confused words 'love' and 'lust' are becoming used interchangeably more and more every day. Indeed, many definitions are being loosened up and many words are used improperly. When people use the words 'love' and 'lust', they should be more careful which word it is that they mean to say.


Meyer, Michael, ed. Thinking and Writing About Literature.  Second Edition. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2001.

o Joan Murray, "Play-By-Play". Meyer. 837-838.

o Sharon Olds, "Sex Without Love". Meyer. 838.

Barbara Rebecca, "Junior Year Abroad". Meyer. 839.

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