The short story “Lust” is told from the point of view of a high school girl as she describes her sexual encounters. The beginning of the story is told by a girl that is nonchalant about her sexual encounters and that is emotionally unattached throughout these encounters. Throughout the story, the girl changes and becomes more emotional about her encounters and how they leave her feeling. Susan Minot shows the changing psychological and negative effects that sex has on a high school girl and how she feels about these sexual encounters. In the critical essay “Lust,” Janet Ellerby summarizes and analyzes the short story “Lust.” Janet Ellerby describes the author’s theme for the short story. The narrator of the story is “unprepared to face the …show more content…
The narrator feels emotionally unattached when she tells of her encounters, and she was willing to do things for boys that did not care about her. None of her partners mentioned that they loved her, and as Ellerby describes, the narrator would most likely find it hard to believe if they had said they loved her. The narrator talks with nonchalance about her encounters, and keeps an emotional distance. Through these encounters the narrator has a mindset that she has to deliver something if she goes with a boy. To her, it does not seem like a big deal to have sex with these boys and to not open her heart to them. To the narrator, there is not a connection between the heart and having sexual encounters with many partners. During this time, the younger generation is much different than the older generation. Ellerby states that the older generation would be surprised at what the younger generation takes part in. The girls of this time have the psychological mindset that they have to deliver something to the men they are with. The narrator is like all the others, and believes this stigma. She feels that no matter how she feels she has to deliver something to someone. Her psychological view is that of everyone else during this time. Throughout the story the narrator starts to think of the differences that sex has on the emotions of men and women. She starts to feel that it is
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Marie Howe created an ode for all the females that she had intimate relations with called “Practicing”. It backtracks to middle school as Howe ambiguously states the acts they performed. This poem is organized into ten separate couplet-stanzas without a rhyme scheme or a distinct meter. Her imagery does not contain specific details on the physical attributes of any of the girls or if there was one she really admired. However, the imagery goes into their sexual explorations with one another behind closed doors. By using metaphors and sentence structure Marie Howe creates imagery that is correlated with the form, and syntax that stays consistent with age.
The short story presents women as aware but misunderstood by men through use of narrative point of view. In society women are usually seen as inferior to men, and therefore often don’t get the acknowledgement they deserve. “The women held their secrets because when they mentioned it to their husbands or brothers they were laughed at….Instead of sympathy, the husbands and brothers now had a secret weapon”. This shows that women did not share their fears as it gave others ideas to torment them further. Women in the short story are also shown to be fully aware of the boy’s behaviour early on in the story. “The men of his home town said, but how
To begin with, the author’s implementation of short sentence fragments throughout the poem illustrates the exasperation and frustration bottled up in women in response to
Lust is having a self-indulgent sexual desire. Susan Minot portrayed the mind of a promiscuous high school female perfectly. Lust is powerful and seductive, but it's inherently selfish and opposed to love. For many girls who are having sex with different boys they can identify with the desire to be needed. The characters in "Lust" are written in a way to highlight the dysfunction and disconnection of everyone involved. The narrator herself is nameless and faceless, making the reader believe that she has already somehow disappeared, just as the men in her life have made her disappear after having sex. Similarly, the men are listed in a brief and are identified only by their sexual acts or by other, easily objectified characteristics. What
In the mid-1920’s, there lived a young man named Tom in the rural area of Tennessee. He was the most popular man in his village because of his muscular body and his killing looks. He was handsome, smart, and muscular. Additionally, he was self-centered, hurtful, and lusty. In the town, every girl was attracted by his good looks and each one of them wanted to date Tom. He started dating the girls one by one, but once he had romanced with one girl, he would break up and move on to the next girl. Tom did not want responsibilities so he did not get married, instead, he wanted pleasure so he continued dating the girls. One day came, where he had dated all the girls in the town and still had the thirst of lust.
One of the norms Kincaid questions is virginity, whether sex is actually meaningful, that it could be enjoyable without the feeling of love. As a nineteen-year-old girl, Lucy is new to what a sexual relationship could have
The narrator is totally crushed by the gender discrimination. She longed to be seen by her mother and her grandma. The narrator is heartbroken that her mother loved her brother more than her and failed to notice her. “When she went into Nonso’s room to say good night, she always came out laughing that laugh. Most times, you pressed your palms to your ears to keep the sound out, and kept your palms pressed to your ears, even when she came into your room to say Good night, darling, sleep well. She never left your room with that laugh” (190). Her agony can be easily seen by the way of her narrating. She does not get the affection that she deserves. She really needs the affection from her own mother, but she is not getting it. She compares the love which her mother shows to his brother and herself. This is gender discrimination can be seen with her grandmother too. She hated her grandma as she would always support her brother and find fault with her. Even though what the brother did, no matter what crime. Her mother and grandmother always supported her brother and never supported or showed interest towards
“Lust,” describes a young teenage girl who has mischievous meetings with many boys. The narrator, which is the young girl, attends Casey Academy which is a coed school. She is sexually active and does not fear pregnancy because she has been taking birth control pills since she was a young girl. The narrator describes her sexual expected gathering with the fifteen different boys she has been with, and when she talks about them she seems emotionally removed from the experience. The narrator’s parents don’t have a clue about what she has been getting herself into: “My parents had no idea. Parents never really know what’s going on, especially when you’re away at school most of the time. If she met them, my mother might say, “Oliver seems nice” or “I like that one” without much of an opinion...” (1029). The narrator’s parents do not show much interest in her life which can be a reason to why she craves
"They turn casually to look at you, distracted, and get a mild distracted surprise, you're gone. Their blank look tells you that the girl they were fucking is not there anymore. You seem to have disappeared.(pg.263)" In Minot's story Lust you are play by play given the sequential events of a fifteen year old girls sex life. As portrayed by her thoughts after sex in this passage the girl is overly casual about the act of sex and years ahead of her time in her awareness of her actions. Minot's unique way of revealing to the reader the wild excursions done by this young promiscuous adolescent proves that she devalues the sacred act of sex. Furthermore, the manner in which the author illustrates to the reader these acts symbolizes the
Lust is defined as an intense longing or a sexual desire. It is a common theme in literature; particularly in classic Greek literature. The reason it is so prevalent in literature is that is prevalent in our daily lives. Everyone lusts after something or someone. It is an interesting topic to examine closely, and classic literature is an excellent medium for such an investigation. Two works I have studied, in which lust is a theme, are an epic, Homer's The Odyssey, and a play, Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. In both The Odyssey and Lysistrata, lust is a theme that plays a major role in the course of the story, making the stories similar, but very different.
Sexuality has an inherent connection to human nature. Yet, even in regards to something so natural, societies throughout times have imposed expectations and gender roles upon it. Ultimately, these come to oppress women, and confine them within the limits that the world has set for them. However, society is constantly evolving, and within the past 200 years, the role of women has changed. These changes in society can be seen within the intricacies of literature in each era. Specifically, through analyzing The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, one can observe the dynamics of society in regards to the role of women through the lens of the theme of sexuality. In both novels, the confinement and oppression of women can be visibly seen as a result of these gender roles. Yet, from the time The Scarlet Letter was published to the time The Bell Jar was written, the place of women in society ultimately changed as well. Hence when evaluating the gender roles that are derived from sexuality, the difference between the portrayals of women’s oppression in each novel becomes apparent, and shows how the subjugation of women has evolved. The guiding question of this investigation is to what extent does the theme of sexuality reflect the expectations for women in society at the time each novel was written. The essay will explore how the literary elements that form each novel demonstrate each author’s independent vision which questions the
“Later that night when Thomas roller over and lurched into her, she would open her eyes and think of the place that was hers” this proves the point that she cannot even express herself sexually because she does not feel as if she has control in the situation. Her mind wanders elsewhere, in a place where she is her own master, instead of what is reality. Additionally, the main character’s husband shows some selfish tendencies in the fact that he may not notice his wife’s discontentment with his affection. However, this may also present the lack of communication between man and wife and therefore may cause a sense of isolation from her husband.
In the story the author portrays the protagonist differently from the other characters because she talks about the physical appearance of other characters and when it comes to the narrator we have no idea what she looks like but she is developed partially through her relationship with other characters, although we the readers do come the find out that the narrator is around the age of 15-17 years old and we can assume that she has a bad relationship with her parents because first of all she talks about them maybe once or twice in the whole story and second of all we know that they sent her to boarding school so that alone proves that her relationship with them is lacking. As readers we also know that she has trouble opening up in the story she say “To open your heart. You open your legs but can’t, or don’t dare anyone, to open your heart” (237). This is a prime example of how author characterizes the protagonist as broken and emotionally damaged. And as the story progress the author becomes more honest with us the readers and herself, she starts the reveal the pain she is in and how lonely she feels. The narrator gives us an example of how she feels after sex by saying “After sex, you curl up like a shrimp, something deep inside you ruined, slammed in a place that sickness at
To do so, Levy turns to the experiences of several young women whom she interviews. From her interpretations of these experiences, Levy reaches the conclusion that these women’s sexual nature revolves around their need
It not only threatens, but also breaks through. Betrayed by love once in her life, she nevertheless seeks it in the effort to fill the lonely void; thus, her promiscuity. But to adhere to her tradition and her sense of herself as a lady, she cannot face this sensual part of herself. She associates it with the animalism of Stanley's lovemaking and terms it “brutal desire”. She feels guilt and a sense of sin when she does surrender to it, and yet she does, out of intense loneliness. By viewing sensuality as brutal desire she is able to disassociate it from what she feels is her true self, but only at the price of an intense inner conflict. Since she cannot integrate these conflicting elements of desire and gentility, she tries to reject the one, desire, and live solely by the other. Desperately seeking a haven she looks increasingly to fantasy. Taking refuge in tinsel, fine clothes, and rhinestones, and the illusion that a beau is available whenever she wants him, she seeks tenderness and beauty in a world of her own making.