Modern Love Essay

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London Brady AP Literature 11-5-11 A Modern Love George Meredith's poem "Modern Love" reveals the pains of a loveless marriage. Using a combination of poignant diction, mood-evoking imagery, and metaphor.The poem begins with the husband's awareness of his wife's misery. The alliteration in "By this he knew she wept with waking eyes" (line one) ironically, the line reads as if this is a nightly occurrence for husband and wife. By using the vague terms "he" and "she", the poem becomes universal, so that it could apply to countless other marriages. In an effort to comfort his wife, the husband places "his hand's light quiver by her head" (line two). Because his hand "quivers", the diction in this line implies that the husband is sympathetic about his wife's pain and is afraid of it. His hand may quiver out of guilt for frightening his wife and she may cry because she cannot continue to sleep with a man she does not love. The imagery in the next line "the strange low sobs that shook their common bed" (line three) hyperbolic ally illustrates just how heavily the poor wife is weeping. Her marriage has wounded her to an intolerable degree and she just wants to escape it, but is slow to admit this to herself. The next line describes the sobs are arriving with a "sharp surprise" (line four). This diction suggests that she refuses to confront herself with the fact that she hates her marriage. Given the period in which Meredith composed this poem (1862, during the Victorian Age), convention probably forced both husband and wife into a union

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