Ap Lit Modern Love Essay

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Madison Carroll Ms. Diana AP English Literature 1 November 2012 Assignment #3 Despairing Companionship “Modern Love,” a poetic sequence by George Meredith, describes a skeptical view regarding of modern love. Meredith’s devastating tone, complex similes and metaphors, and dark imagery convey a sad and regretful outlook on modern relationships. “Modern Love” is riddled with a tone of regret and heartache, making this modern love more like the opposite of love. The speaker says, “she wept with waking eyes” and her “strange low sobs” were “strangled mute.” The words describing this woman are full of grief, full of “vain regret.” Her husband is painfully aware of his wife’s sadness, through her reaction to “his hand’s light quiver by her head” and her sobs that were “dreadfully venomous to him.” The speaker’s worried tone shows that the husband wishes for his wife to be happy, but his actions of loving care and cautiousness do nothing to quell her tears. This view of modern love is hopeless, full of despair for both the man and his distraught wife. Intense simile and metaphor throughout “Modern Love” accentuate this grim view on the concept of modern love. The muffled cries of the wife are called “little gaping snakes,” showing how afraid and vulnerable the husband is to them. The man’s wife has a “Giant heart of Memory and Tears,” revealing the heavy, unused organ that the wife carries around within her, empty of the love that it represents, only able to remember the sadness to which she has been subjected. Then, the husband and wife are said to be “like sculpture effigies” in their “common bed,” lying “stone-still.” This metaphor includes grim imagery of two people “moveless” and silent, looking back on their “dead black years” together. Their life is described as “black,” providing an image of nothingness, as if there is no memory worth seeing. Their
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