Love Through the Ages - Wider Reading quotes

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Jane Eyre (1847)

Charlotte Brontë ~ prose

"every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own" - Jane to Rochester

- romantic ideal of love, idea of two becoming one

"Reader, I married him"; "I am his right side"; "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert in leaving you"

- inconsistent with views of women in Victorian era, Brontë gives Jane a new servitude rather than breaking through stereotype. Jane is not a stereotypical woman.

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The Book of Illusions (2002)

Paul Auster ~ prose

"whole days melted into oblivion"; "limiting myself to small doses twice a day"; "carrying on their phantom lives"

- loss of loved ones, using their lives and the memories of them to keep himself alive, almost like a medicine.

Structured sentences - his life has fallen apartbut he is managing to control his emotions, the structure could be to make it seem as though the character, David Zimmer, is coping but in fact he is crumbling beneath the surface.

Repeated use of pronoun 'I' - emphasis on the fact the character is alone

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1984 (1948)

George Orwell ~ prose

"seemed to have got inside him"; "she had become a physical necessity"; "a deep tenderness"

- Julia has become a part of his being, romantic side of love in a dystopian world

"Both of them knew it was lunacy"

- love is not free in this setting, highlights the dangers of love

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Edward II (1593)

Christopher Marlowe ~ drama

"italian masks"; "saytrs"; "crownets of pearls"

- Gaveston uses words with sexual connotations, and a sexual nation to create illusive connotations; sexually charged males, phalic symbol; could be another phalic reference, this time refering to the male body's "produce" - pearl crownet refering to the slang term "a pearl necklace"


- draws attention to words that connote beauty through alliteration, masculine from consonant sound - could relate to the homosexual love depicted in this speech

"peeping through the grove"

- voyeuristic - sexually excited by watching others, taboo 

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Letter to Fanny Brawne (1819)

John Keats ~ prose

"my dearest girl"; "air is unhealthy in a room empty of you"

- superlative makes this more possessive and sound more desperate; Keats amalgamates Fanny with good health

The letter has little structure - continual sentences suggest Keats' inablility to contain himself

Rhetorical questions- aimed at making his lover contemplate her actions.

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Dracula (1897)

Bram Stoker ~ prose

Jonathan Harker's journal - personal account of what happened

"aquline noses"; "piercing eyes... almost red against the pale yellow moon"

- dehumanizing features of these women, presented in a siren-esque way that amalgate them with danger and lust

"intolerable, tingling sweetness" 

- juxtaposition which creates a paradox, is this negative or positive?

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Wuthering Heights (1847)

Emily Brontë ~ prose

"heaven did not seem to be my home"; "It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now so he shall never know how I love him"; "he's more myself than I am"; "whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same"; "he's always, always in my mind... but as my own being"

- romantic love but Catherine's position means she cannot marry him and must marry into a name. This is her idea of "heaven" but would prefer Heathcliff over this

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Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891)

Thomas Hardy ~ prose

"my pretty girl"

- possessive use of pronouns and objectifying Tess 

"pressing.... consistant.... conducted" / "faltered.... uncomfortably"

- his advances/her reactions, Alec wants this more than she does and he is attempting to force her into something

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A Woman of No Importance (1893)

Oscar Wilde ~ drama

"runs her fingers through his hair"

- proxemics, motherly love on stage, maternal character

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Othello (1622)

William Shakespeare ~ drama

"my noble father"; "to you I am bound for life and education"; "I do perceive a divided duty"

- Desdemona to Brabantio, proxemics - she respects and loves her father but must follow her heart and marry Othello, would be atypical of marriage in Shakespeare's time - a girl was to be married by her father, not of her volition. Desdemona would also have been played by a man.

"I had been happy, if the general camp... had tasted her sweet body"; "I'll tear her to pieces"; "damn her lewd minx"; "she must die, else she'll betray more men"

- Desdemona becomes Othello's possession after Iago convinces him of her betrayal and his attitudes change from romantic to possessive

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A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)

Tennessee Williams ~ drama

"bowling jackets"; "red-stained package"; "she cries out in protest... laughs breathlessly"

"low animal moans"; "eyes go blind with tenderness";      "get the coloured lights going"

- Sc1 there is initial passion see between Stanley and Stella seen through both objects in the house that attention is drawn to, such as the bowling jacket which tended to be garish and bright, and the stage directions which show that the dominance excites Stella 

- Sc3 the passion between Stanley and Stella progresses to being slightly animalistic and she ignores the fact that Stanley is abusive because she loves him

-Sc8 this connotes the sexual passion between Stella and Stanley

"he stops just inside"; "(softly) hello!"; "we've - been drinking beer"

- Sc3 the first meeting between Mitch and Blanche is seemingly very innocent where both parties are unsure of what to say or do

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A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)

Tennessee Williams ~ drama

"don't ever talk that way to me!"; "remember what Huey Long said? 'every man is a king'!"; "don't you forget it"

- Sc8 Stanley is exerting his dominance in the marriage - Huey Long was he governor of Louisiana at the time this was set and so this reinforces the stereotypes of male dominance over the household and gives the audience, both in the time it was performed and to a modern audience, the grounding in the reality of the setting.

"dutifully"/"dubiously"; "my Stella, Stella for star"; "honey...sweetie"

- Stella indulges Blanche's whims and fantasies whereas Blanche does not hide her disdain; Blanche has assumed the mothering figure with her use of pet names belittling Stella slightly, however Blanche is the unstable party in their relationship

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A Doll's House (1879)

Henrik Ibsen ~ drama

"the child shall have her way"; "surely you can understand that being with Torvold is like being with papa"

- Torvold speaks of Nora as a child and Nora speaks of their marriage like her relationship with her father

"You know how devotedly, how inexpressibly deeply Torvold loves me; he would never for a moment hesitate to give his life for me".... "the sound of a shutting door"

- It is at the end of the play when Nora realises he doesn't love her like this that she must leave

NORA: "What do you consider my most sacred duties?"
HELMER: "[…] your duties to your husband and your children."
NORA: "I have other duties just as sacred. […] Duties to myself." 

- At this part of the play Nora is realising what she must do and in fact she does not have to stay in her loveless marriage.

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The Kaleidoscope (1985)

Douglas Dunn ~ poetry (sonnet)

"The Kaleidoscope"; "A symmetry of husbands, each redesigned"

- the title suggests beauty and infinite possibilities - the different and wide array of marriages 

- the symmetry could refer to the mirrors in the kaleidoscope that allow the distorted reality; the narrator could be suggesting that she is redesigning them to find a partner who could have saved her - it could also stem from the medication she is seemingly on and her view is distorted by pain and medication

"My hands become a tray/ offering me, my flesh, my soul, my skin"

-'hands' are viewed as a religious symbol in marriage and are used to do good deeds - he used his hands to look after his wife until she died - he would offer himself in exchange for her

No rhyme apart from the last couplet where he asks for "absurd forgiveness" - believes he failed her. Octave and sestet represent the past and present - shorter present because he prefers to remeber her over dwelling on his own life.

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You're (1960)

Sylvia Plath ~ poetry (dramatic monologue)

"my little loaf"

- 'bun in the oven' - loving and tender attitude towards unborn child

"bent-baked Atlas"

- could refer to the weight of the baby for the mother; expecting the world for the baby; 'Atlas' is a greek mythology character, could suggest the endurance of the baby has/will have as 'Atlas' was the titan god of endurance and astrology.

"a clean slate"

- Plath would be able to give her chuld what she herself did not have; could represent a new beginning twice over

Plath killed herself in 1963 

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The Passionate Shepard to his Love Ralegh (1599)

Christopher Marlowe ~ poetry (regular quatrains)

"Come live with me and be my love"

- starts 1st stanza and ends the penultimate one, could be seen as the poem was meant to be written as the last stanza has a more desperate tone and "come" modulates to "then"

Rhyming couplets creates a flow/rhythm - almost seems like the narrator is trying to hypnotise the subject of the poem; while the last stanza remains in the same structure, it sounds like a final plea rather than a part of the poem - the poet uses the same "move/love" eye rhyme which could suggest that he has regained composure. The use of eye rhyme could suggest that the love he feels is more aesthetic than real as the reader would not necessarily hear the rhyme.

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The Nymphs reply to the Shepard (1600)

Sir Walter Ralegh ~ poetry (regular quatrains)

"the flowers do fade and wanton fields/ To wayward winter reckoning yields"

- Comparing nature to love - both are limited in lifespan; 'wanton' suggests that there is no contentment like that felt between a lover and a loved one.

Rhyming couplets uses couplets to copy structure of original poem (The Passionate Shepard to his love Ralegh) even uses "love/move" rhyme to mock Marlowe

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Lovesong (1970)

Ted Hughes ~ poetry (married to Sylvia Plath)

"his kisses sucked out her whole past or tried to"; "Safe and Sure forever"; "her eyes wanted nothing to get away"; "her embrace was an imense press to print him into her bones"; "in their entwined sleep"

- continuous use of pronouns makes the poem relatable to a wider audience, capitalises on the fact that love is between two people - character wants to consume wife's seemingly unfortunate past; capitalisation of "Safe" and "Sure" personifies these feelings showing the emphasis placed upon them and the importance of their presence in her life; she would like him to be imprinted onto the very structure of her being, a growing dependence on one another throughout the poem?

"he had no other appetite"; "little cries fluttered into the curtains"; "and their deep cries crawled over the floors"

- their love is the only thing he hungers for and she fills him entirely; sexual, passionate undertones, curtains act as a buffer from the outside world; "deep" could suggest heavy or lower down so it is soaked up by the floor

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Havisham (1993)

Carol Ann Duffy ~ poetry

"Beloved sweetheart basturd"

- oxymoron, shows bitter calous tone towards the subject. In this poem it is Dickens' Miss Havisham who was jilted at the alter by her lover who was only after her inheritance. Duffy interprets this character to show a bitter woman who has been abandoned by her lover

"a red balloon bursting"

"red" is a very passionate colour potentially signifying the anger and hurt from her abandonment; a "balloon" is filled with air, emptyness filling a space - her soul? their love?

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Valentine (1993)

Carol Ann Duffy ~ poetry 

"it promises light / like the careful ********** of love"

- the enjambment here could suggest that the poe t desires these feelings, the second line could be implying the uncertainty, vunerability and intimacy that comes with love.

"Lethal. / Its scent will cling to your fingers. / Cling to your knife."

"lethal" gives the image of love as debilitating; the "scent" could be a metaphor for the relationship and the effects it will leave on the people involved while the "knife" is representing the end of the relationship and 'cutting ties' with the other person; "cling" could show how sometimes parting isn't a mutual agreement and this suggests some desperation and a willingness to part causing further hurt; there is no enjambement in this final stanza which could suggest the narrator is carefully thinkinh of their words and structuring their sentences. 

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Anna Karenina (1873-77)

Leo Tolstoy ~ prose 

"In that brief glance... restrained animation that played over her face and fluttered between her shining eyes... barely noticeable smile that curved her red lips"

- This shows the first time Vronsky sees Anna and the way he perceives her. Tolstoy's description depicts 'love at first sight'; it could be argued that the "restrained animation" reflects the restraint on her as a woman in society and the restraint one must show to be a part of this (that she goes against to pursue the affair with Vronsky.

"he looked at her as a man looks at a faded flower... with difficulty recognising in it the beauty for which he picked and ruined it.... it seemed to him he felt no love for her"

- Anna's jealousy starts to shine through and it can be seen that Vronsky's feelings appear to waver - instability of love.

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To Althea, from Prison (1642)

Richard Lovelace ~ poetry (lyric)

"Love with unconfined wings"; "divine Althea"; "tangled in her hair, / And fettered to her eye"; "Stone walls do not a Prison make, / Nor Iron bars a cage"; "If I have freedom in my love, / And in my soul am free"

- The idea that even in a prison Love is equated to freedom; "Althea" means healer, it could be suggetsing this is what is keeping him grounded and able to remain sane, "divine" elevates her to a godly concept; words associated with prison and confinement are twisted to associate with love and how he is enraptured in this idea, prison words could be linking love as a physical prison - internal rhyme; while the poem's structure and the narrator's surrounding support physical imprisonment the pom implies mental freedom

Interlocking rhyme scheme - looks like chains (abab), reinforces imprisonment imagery

Internal rhyme - rhyme is also locked within the lines

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Bright Star (1838)

John Keats ~ poetry (sonnet)

"bright star"; "and watching, with eternal lids apart"; "still stedfast"; "still, still"

"stars" are seemingly eternal symbols, use of apostrophe (addressing an absent party); personification helps reader to feel the eternity in the poem, seeming omniscience in eternity - knowing if love will last; both "still" and "stedfast" link to the theme of eternity and alliteration adds to this effect; use of parallelism - repetition of words for effect, in this case to draw attention to eternity, underlines connection between eternity and motionlessness - love goes nowhere?

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To His Coy Mistress (1650s)

Andrew Marvell ~ poetry (dramatic monologue)        METAPHYSICAL POET

"An hundred years should go to praise / Thine eyes"; "Two hundred years to adore each breast"; "But thirty thousand years to adore the rest"

mocking the idea romance and the eternity of love, one spends so long adoring a woman's body with love but what is the point if she won't be yours forever?

"my vegetable love"

- metaphysical comparison that is aimed to startle and mock traditional uses of this form 

"then worms shall try / That long preserved virginity";"The grave's a fine and private place / But none, I think, do there embrace"

- could be suggesting she will be a virgin till death, mocking idealized romantic poetry through crude and shocking imagery; the narrator is trying to convince a woman to sleep with him and in doing so is mocking her beliefs on love and the sanctity of a woman

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