Pathedy of Manners

383 Words2 Pages
Attitude: The attitude of this poem shifts throughout the stanzas. At first, the attitude is optimistic and positive. The speaker develops a beautiful and intelligent woman, who has everything going for her, about her college life, all the dances she attended and men she dated. The attitude of the poem has an abrupt change of attitude in the 5h stanza. The fifth stanza reveals a hopeless, distressing attitude towards the woman. During the last two stanzas, the attitude shifts to remorse. The speaker emphasizes on what the woman could have had in her life if she wasn’t so concerned with following society’s expectations of her, changing the overall attitude from optimistic to remorse. Shifts: The first four stanzas are primarily meant to describe the life of this young, wealthy girl. They are optimistic and flattering. In the last three, the observer begins to take a much more judgmental perspective. She begins to illustrate how the choices made early on have left the woman in a tragic, almost pathetic situation. The author does this by changing the point of view from her to I, making the overall attitude much more judgmental. Title x2: “Pathedy of Manners” is about a woman who seems to have a perfect life, but the woman is wrapped in society’s “pathedy” (pathetic tragedy) of manners (expectations), and is too concerned with what is expected of her. From the title, I can infer that at first the woman’s happiness depended on living up to the expectations of society. However, in the last few stanzas of the poem she realizes that there is more in life than wealth and living in high society, and she regrets the decisions she made on how to live her life because they were purely made from the societal expectations. Theme: The theme of “Pathedy of Manners” is remorse and the importance of self-worth. If you get too caught up on society’s expectations of you, you loose
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