Essay What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

Essay What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

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Beth Ann Fennelly’s book of poetry, Unmentionables, is mainly about her inner thoughts and feelings about various situations in her life. Most of these poems mainly deal with her fear of aging, the growing up of her children, and the love for her husband. However, the poems are divided into sections, and all the poems do not share the same theme, but they all express her feelings about an event in her life. But she takes a different route with her “Colorplate” poems. “The Colorplate poems are about Berthe Morisot, one of a few talented female artists of her time” (Bethe). In the two poems, “Colorplate 14” and “Colorplate 21”, Beth Ann Fennelly tells two stories pertaining to her being ashamed of herself. In the first poem, “Colorplate 14”, the narrator’s painting was rejected again at the salon and she left feeling disappointed and embarrassed. In the second poem, “Colorplate 21”, the narrator invited Manet, Morist’s influential art colleague, to critique her artwork. Manet changed portions of her painting that she did not like, but she could not tell him to stop. She feels embarrassed for not being able to stand up for her painting of her mother. Both poems indicate the impression of embarrassment as a result of not achieving her goals pertaining to her paintings. The first poem creates a feeling of disappoint, failure, and self-pity. The second poem exhibits the imagery of guilt when she states, “Mama’s face now a stranger’s,” and “Mama says / my first word was no” (lines 10,17,18). Both poems have the same theme: embarrassment of her own shortcomings.
“Beth Ann Fennelly’s inspiration for the collection of 25 poems was Fennelly’s nineteen-month-old daughter Claire, and the poems explore the changes in Finnelly’s … life since C...


... middle of paper ...


...Morisot. She encountered multiply situations where her pride was hurt and fails to recover from it all. She seems to be put through the ultimate test to see whether or not she is strong enough to stand on her own two feet instead of second guessing herself.


Works Cited

“Bethe Morisot” Renior Fine Art Investments Inc. 21 March. 2008. Web. 20 March. 2012.

Fennelly, Beth Ann. “Colorplate 14.” Unmentionables. New York and London: W.W. Norton &
Company, Inc., 2008. Pg. 29. Print.
--- “Colorplate 27.” Unmentionables.” Pg. 30. Print.
Montgomery, Katherine. “Beth Ann Fennelly, Mississippi Writer Living in Oxford and Author.”
Mississippi Writers, Mississippi Musicians, Mississippi Actors, and Mississippi Artist. Jan 2008. Web. 21 Mar. 2012.

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