Argretation In A Certain Lady By Dorothy Parker

Improved Essays
A Certain Lady – Argumentative Essay

When Dorothy Parker paints her lips red (3) during her poem A Certain Lady, she 's doing it because society expects her to - but this essay will argue that she 's also doing so out of paid obligation. At first glance, 'what goes on while (you 're) away / you 'll never know ' seems like unrequited love between friends, specifically the feelings that she has for him, but this is not the case. Certain lines in the poem discuss themes of emotional detachment, obligation and promiscuity – typical of what readers would expect of someone who lives a life of sexual debauchery. Analyzing this poem with these themes in mind, the poems ' main speaker can be easily understood as a woman who sleeps with men for money. Below are some of the lines within Parker 's poem that lead us to this fact, and how they can be read as the practices and feelings of a prostitute, as well as some counter arguments of why this may or may not be the case. Parker begins her poem with this idea of playing a role. She 'tilts her head and smiles ' for him and listens to him with eager lips (1-3). This statement can be read with sarcasm, which would make the speaker seem like she 's unamused
…show more content…
This line is the most crucial to the theme of prostitution because of the way she uses 'rapturous ' in the above sentence. Rapturous is defined as “a state or feeling of great happiness, pleasure, or love” (Mirriam-Webster) and because the speaker has already stated that she has 'tutored fingertips ', the assumption is that she 's talking the state of her own arousal, which might also be confirmed when she talks about 'painting (her) lips red ' earlier – this could be an innuendo for her genitalia as well. These two lines make it clear that she wants him to shut up about his problems so she can be sexually intimate with him and move onto her next

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    The poem begins by setting a negative tone by showing how the Harlem dancer is humiliated and degraded. In line 1, the audience consists of “applauding youths laugh[ing] with young prostitutes,” which indicates that they are judging her. This condescending aspect is further enhanced with the phrase “laughed with young prostitutes,” indicating that they are laughing at the Harlem dancer, and not with her. This shows the setting of the poem as well, wherein Harlem, white audiences finally emerge in the city of Harlem as their curiosity for black performers grows. The word “prostitute” has a negative connotation itself, where it is considered more of a dirty and disgraceful occupation, whereas the word “dancer” has a more positive connotation, indicating elegance and talent.…

    • 859 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    An enormously diverse and complex issue within the feminist field. In the beginning of the reading, she is bewildered to how prostitution used to be seen as an example of women 's subordination. Which thought to have ceased when women would gain equality. However, at the end of 20th century, it became to expand and develop quickly.…

    • 712 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The poem “One Perfect Rose,” written by the author Dorothy Parker, represents an example of a well-developed creative narrative that reflects how rhetorical elements such as repetition complemented with tone shifts can highlight and present the theme more vividly. This poem represents a contrast from the majority of poems about love because it is not the typical portrayal of a non-practical, idealistic feeling. In fact, the poem serves as a mockery of love in the way we tend to envision it, since it comes from a speaker who cynically devalues true love over materialistic possessions. Although the identity of the speaker is not explicitly revealed, it can be inferred that it is a woman who has had romantic experiences where men tend to propose…

    • 1068 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    On the surface, this opening quatrain seems to convey that Millay realizes she was wrong to merely want sex from the man, that he could have very well been the love of her life and that she wasted her opportunity. Millay continues on in the same manner for the following stanzas, her words climaxing with a particularly overt innuendo: “Naked of reticence and shorn of pride, Spread like a chart my little wicked ways” (7-8). Here, she is conveying to the reader that not only did she have quality, fulfilling sex without ego or hesitance to get in the…

    • 1284 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Dim Lady Shakespeare can be boring and drab in comparison to the world today. Our lives and experiences seem extremely different in comparison to shakespeare 's, and the antiquated language doesn’t make connections to his work any easier. Books today such as “No Fear Shakespeare” make millions, translating his work to something a modern day student can experience in its glory without the boredom of classical language. ALthough entire works have been “translated” into modern language none of them have picture shakespeare 's humor and wit quite as elegantly as Harryette Mullen in her poem “Dim Lady” In Mullen 's work she uses colorful language, humor and structure is used to create a modern take on a classic form of poetry.…

    • 950 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    I like Cynthia Ann Parker because she has an interesting story to tell about her life. Throughout her life she went through many difficult situations from being kidnapped to losing a child. Cynthia Ann Parker lived with the Comanches. Cynthia Ann Parker was only nine or possibly ten when her family moved to the middle of Texas and they also built Fort Parker on the edge of the Navasota River. Cynthia Ann Parker a was born between June 2, 1824 and she had died on May the 31, 1825 .…

    • 518 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Harriet Jacobs was born a slave in Edenton, North Carolina but died a free woman and abolitionist (HJ XXI). She was unaware of her status as a slave until she was about six years old while living with close relations to her mother, father, brother, and grandmother (HJ 5). Throughout Jacobs’ life, the struggle with religion was apparent in her novel, constantly torn between the belief and doubt in a good higher power. Harriet Jacob’s views of religion wavers throughout her lifetime.…

    • 1553 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Brilliant Essays

    The Power Of Women In The Clerk's Tale

    • 3016 Words
    • 13 Pages
    • 7 Works Cited

    The Tale reveals that the perfectly good woman is powerful, or at least potentially so, insofar as her suffering and submission are fundamentally insubordinate and deeply threatening to men and to the concepts of power and gender identify upon which patriarchal culture is premised (Hansen, 190.) However, the happy ending brings the heroine the dubious reward of permanent union with a man whom the Clerk, embellishing his sources, has characterized as a sadistic tyrant, worst of men and cruelest of husbands (Hansen, 190.) As a final message and a warning for both men and women alike, the Clerk's tale ends with the following…

    • 3016 Words
    • 13 Pages
    • 7 Works Cited
    Brilliant Essays
  • Great Essays

    She exclaims in line 21 that he strays in search on novelty, implying not only should he be classified as hers (he would have to belong to her in order for her to stray), but that she is superior to the women he spends his nights with. Such women are playthings, he goes to them because they are new and enticing, yet she is keenly aware that in their relationship he will still come back to her…

    • 1142 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In most wars, men are usually called into duty more often than women are. Often, there were no women around the camps the men were stationed, leaving the men in an isolated state where only the presence of a woman could bring them back some joy. The Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong communicates the story of Mary Anne Belle who was brought to Vietnam by her lover, who miss her company. It is also about the deductive analysis of Mary Anne Belle and is a collection of the progression of her character’s changes as her days in Vietnam passes by.…

    • 1406 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Yellow Wallpaper Maleness

    • 1000 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s "The Yellow Wallpaper, is about a wife, her mental troubles and her spouse 's purported remedial treatment of her aliments amid the late 1800s. The story starts with a young lady and her husband heading out to the country side for the late summer and for the recuperating forces of being far from composing which just appears to exacerbate her condition. After perusing this exceptional depiction of a very nearly jail like solution for succeeding "temporary nervous depression" the reader is pervaded with the thought the men are just the superintendents in the lives of ladies. Gilman, well all through the story to appear with elucidating expressions exactly how effortlessly and successfully, the man "apparently" wields his "maleness" to control the lady. Be that as it may, with further elucidation and knowledge I trust Gilman succeeds in just demonstrating the shortcoming of ladies, of the day, as dynamic persons in their own and additionally society 's choice making procedures rather than the quality of men as ladies…

    • 1000 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Miss Brill’s Fantasy vs. Reality In Katherine Mansfield’s short story “Miss Brill” (rpt. In Greg Johnson and Thomas R. Arp. Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 12th ed. [Boston: Wadsworth, 2015] 155-158), the protagonist, Miss Brill, lives a very lonesome life.…

    • 561 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Great Essays

    “Tough Love” Since we were born there was always one person we relied on which would be our mothers, if we were fortunate to have her, because moms are our care takers till we are able to do things on our own as they guide us through the process, once we are on our own mothers are always there to demonstrate the correct way no matter your age. Sometimes mothers are so pushy with small details because they want the best out of us and know we can achieve so much. In the story “Girl” (Kincaid pg. 184-185) the author Jamaica Kincaid is portrayed as the narrator/mother in the story and I believe she wanted the best for her daughter even though she was a bit harsh, vulgar, and judgmental. All these characteristics are used to parent her daughter…

    • 1801 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Throughout history there have been many cases of assimilation. However, almost every attempt has been unsuccessful. For example, after evangelizing native-Americans in the west, native culture continued to exist. The short story “The Lost Sister”, by Dorothy M. Johnson, explains the unsuccessful and negative effects of forced assimilation of the aboriginal people. The tragic consequences of assimilation are exhibited through the protagonist’s family’s ignorant ideas of Aunt Bessie before and after her arrival.…

    • 1118 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The Pride and Prejudice novel was written by Jane Austen during the 18th century in 1813 and is centered around the futures and fortunes of the five daughters of the Bennet family. When this book was written, it was a time and culture when women were treated unequally to men. Therefore, women have little independence and were always at a disadvantage, different from the life style women live today. Pride and Prejudice takes place in a society where a role for women is earned through relationships that are determined by wealth and rank, marriage and social status. Women were to act in a specific way and any deviation from that specific way was harshly criticized.…

    • 1418 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays