Analysis Of ' One Flesh '

1565 Words Sep 28th, 2014 7 Pages
The title ‘One Flesh’ refers to the Genesis account of the creation of Eve. In the Bible, it states “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” The passage explains that once a man and a woman marry, they unite together as one. In some ways, the title can be seen as ironic as many would presume the poem would describe marriage. Instead, it describes a relationship that is very estranged and distant. The title of the poem creates an image of unity and togetherness however, this is contradicted in the opening line, “Lying apart now, each in a separate bed,” causing some confusion in the reader’s mind. This could suggest that the speaker feels the same way. The poem is written in the perspective of the writer – Elizabeth Jennings. She wonders about the relationship of her now older parents now that their passion as ceased to exist. However, though no longer ‘one flesh’, they still seem to be bonded together.
A major theme in the poem is the separateness in elderly marriage. The writer begins by stating “Lying apart now, each in a separate bed” representing that they once did sleep beside each other however now, they do not. The caesura found in the middle of the line, emphasises this fact that the parents sleep in different beds. The separate beds is also a microcosm and metaphor of the parents’ relationship. She further goes on to explain “He with a book, keeping the light on late, She like a girl dreaming of…
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