The Farmers Bride is a tragic love story told by the farmer relating his life to his wife. The poem demonstrates the theme of sorrow, sadness, anger, and empathy. The wife lives in fear of not only his husband but all the men around. Despite her young age, the husband expected her to behave like adult woman thus instilling more fear into her life. The bride sleeps alone in an isolated room and barely speak to the husband. On the other hand, the husband reveals tone of self-pity.
The husband is self-centered and cares only about himself and his happiness. He knows the cause of the brides fear is her tender age which can be resolved by him showing love, care, and tenderness. All in all, he goes ahead into treating her like an animal without compassion, We caught her, fetched her home at last, and turned the key upon her, fast" (Dowson, 170). The bride feels safe been in the presence of animal as opposed to men, "With birds and rabbits and such as they, so long as men-folk keep away"(Dowson, 171), The tone of empathy for both the husband and the wife is felt in the whole poem.
The tone outline the theme of innocence, Power, control, and culture. The tone of sadness and sorrow is caused by the bride's tender age. According to the poet, the bride was very young when she got married at the age of seventeen which reveal the culture of that area. The farmers behavior of mistreating the wife demonstrates the tone of anger which is an indicator of male chauvinism, power, and control.
My Last Duchess
The poem reveals the tone of pride, contentedness, and self-centeredness. The duke kills his wife out of jealousy due to her cheerful nature of smiling to men. He talks about it in a happily contented manner without feeling guilty of the act. The duke is proud of his corrupt deeds and murder act which emerge in his narration of the painting on the wall and the fate of the last wife. He boasts of been from a high culture that gives him the power and control over anything. He now feels safe and satisfied looking at the painting which he now adores more than he did towards his real wife I call That piece a wonder, now (Nichols 138).
The tone of the poem brings out the personality of the Duke which illustrates the themes of jealousy, power, control, corruption, greed, and murder. The duke had complete dominance over his wife and believed she was his possession thus had to smile to him alone. He is also filled with jealousy towards his wife's attention to other men which led to him killing her. According to him the only option to stop the wife from smiling was by killing her (Nichols 137).
The Author to Her Book
The poem brings about the image of motherhood toward their child to illustrate the tone change from frustration in the first paragraph to longing later in the poem. At first, the poet uses a harsh language ill-formed offsprings of my feeble brain to reveal her frustration toward the book. The mention of the child in her book shows that the book was not fully developed and ready to be published. According to her, the book was full of mistakes which frustrated her more (Gale, 56).
The poet lacks confidence in her ability to write thus wanted to preserve the book to herself till he had enough confidence to publish it. The tone of anger is revealed by her words choice which shows she was not happy with the way her book emerged. Till snatched from thence by friends" (Gale, 48) show she was angry. One cause of frustration is the way women author are viewed in the society. Toward the end of the poem, the tone changes to that of longing, and some confidence emerges.
The theme that comes out from the poem is inferiority complex and cultural imperialism. The poet lack confidence in her ability to write that why she gets annoyed when her friend snatches the book and publish it on her behalf. Her low-esteem and fear toward the critic from the view show her inferiority complexity. The theme of cultural imperialism I revealed by how the female author is viewed. Are expected to be parrot the opinion of men rather than airing out their own opinion. The theme of women and feminist is outlined in this poem.
Contrast and comparisons
The two poems The last Duchess and The Farmers Bride" share a common theme of power, control, male chauvinism, and jealous. In the two poems, women are wedded at young age whereby they faced oppression and mistreatment from their husbands. The Author to her Book differs from the two whereby there is some hope for women to one day change the male dominance. The author long for a better future
The overall theme outlined in the three poems that of women and feminists. Across the poems, women are viewed as weak and prone to oppression by men and society at large. Their opinion doesnt matter in a male-dominated society. The theme of power and control is revealed in the poem The last Duchess and "the farmer bride." Women are prone to mistreatment and subjected to torture and death.
Dowson, Jane. "Poetry, 19201945." The History of British Womens Writing, 19201945. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2013. 161-181.
Gale, Cengage Learning. A Study Guide for Anne Bradstreet's" The Author to Her Book". Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016.
Nichols, Kenneth. "Case Study# 9: My Last Duchess by Robert Browning." Public Voices 14.2 (2017): 137-155.
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