William Carlos Williams' Progressing Views of Women Essay

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William Carlos Williams is a leader of the Modern Poetry movement with peers such as Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, but broke away from it to experiment more in his own style. He was extremely creative, playing with forms and styles of writing and not restricting himself to poetry, however, which he excelled at. The subjects of his poems were not always people, but specific images, especially momentary ones. Many of his poems start with the word "The," which indicates that the poem will describe whatever follows "The" in the title. Writing was his side career to being a doctor, which was more economical at the time. His writing takes on the analytical approach that must come from his other career in the way he is able to dissect…show more content…
By using the word "fallen," the author is alluding to the loss of virtue. His desire for normalcy prevails his desire for sex or rape (or more his desire to want what another man has) when he passes by, bowing and smiling. Looking more at the context of the poem, the author was a doctor at the time the poem was written in 1917 as well, and it wouldn't have been odd to see him making house calls (driving around) at 10 o'clock in the morning. His humor is expressed by his acknowledgement of his position as an observer. He is half-serious, too, though, by playing up the barriers between them. Physically, she is behind "wooden walls" and then the "curb" while he is confined to his car. Ethically, the vows of marriage and his oath as a doctor are the strongest barriers, which are not presented straight out, but the reader is left to pick up on these hints through descriptions of "her husband's house" (3). The poem even takes on a sexual form, using breaks in the lines 2, and 7, and finishing up with the last three lines. The way the woman would move about "in negligee behind" presents a sexual word not being used as a noun, but as an adjective on her state of being. That leaves the word "behind" which "gets constructed as a noun rather than as a preposition" (Giorcelli). Taking the physical way the poem is set up into account helps express the sexual moment of suspense that Williams is known for. For example, in lines 7 and 8, the woman is described as

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