The first poem I will discuss is The Seduction. The poem is about a boy (typical lad, leather jacket, alcohol, drugs and bad manners) taking a girl from a party and taking her down to the lakeside. When they get there he gets her drunk and has sex with her. We then find out 3 months later the girl is pregnant & extremely upset by everything. She believed it would all be magical and what all the teenage dream magazines said it would be, but it really wasn’t. The characters in the seduction are both very stereotypical. The male character is a typical lad. The male is a very uncaring character who seems to be quite rough.
The way “he spat into the river” shows how he is a disgusting ill-mannered boy. On the other hand we see he is very lonely. We know this because he talks about “Where I go by meself with me dad’s magazines”. The “dad’s magazines” is referring to pornography and shows he is also possibly sex obsessed. We also see from this that he doesn’t talk properly, although, this could just because of an accent he has because of where he is from. The female character is very naive. She believes that having sex and partying and getting drunk will be fun and like “the stories from the teenage magazines”.
We also see she is quite sensitive from the way “she was truly truly frightened”. We see she is very trusting because she trusted the boy and also she believed all the “stupid promises, only tacitly made”, There are many themes and issues raised in the seduction. Firstly the issue of sex and how it is not always what people think. The woman believes it is going to be magical and what all of the magazines said it would be, and how a lot of young girls believe this also. Another issue it deals with is teenage pregnancy. Back in the day the seduction was written teenage pregnancy was a lot less common than it is today.
It also shows just how easily men get away with getting what they want at the cost of innocent young girls. The theme about love and relationships is shown as one that is easily broken. At the time, the man didn’t care about the woman, where as she wanted the perfect night and the teenage dream. There is a very strong use of imagery in this poem. It is heavily used to give the image of the male character. The phrase “the frightening scum on the water” is referring to the man and calling him “scum”. Also they describe “his eyes as blue as iodine”.
Iodine is a chemical used in science, that can sting if it comes into contact with a human, they are referring him to iodine because he is bad news, and a bad person. Also the girls “high white shoes” are imagery used to show her innocence as when she discovers she is pregnant, she breaks them. The structure in the seduction is simple yet effective. It is written in short verses. These short bursts show how the story goes from bad to worse, one step at a time. Also each little section could show how bit by bit, the woman is making a mistake and her life is breaking down.
To His Coy Mistress is a poem about a man persistently trying to have sex with the female character. The man does everything he can to get the woman to sleep with him. He tries complimenting her, scaring her and tricking her. He tries telling her how he loves her and how she is still young and should take this opportunity to have sex with him. In To His Coy Mistress we learn a lot about the characters. For example, the male character is put across as a obnoxious, sex obsessed pervert. We know this because the poem shows he doesn’t care about the girl, but just having sex with her.
He says “my vegetable love should grow, vaster than empires, and more slow”. This is supposedly referring to his love for the female, but could also be seen as a double entendre. It also gives the idea that the idea of having sex with her gives him an erection. We also see he is very stubborn and determined. He spends the entire poem saying there isn’t enough time and so they must seize the day and have sex. Even when she says no, he still persists. The male in general seems very pathetic. The female character is very innocent because it shows she is still a virgin.
She is also very reserved as she doesn’t say anything or give any response throughout the entire poem. She could also be very clever, by not having sex with the man she could make him marry her, and that could be what the woman is after. We can also tell she must be very attractive because the man talks about her body and looks in a very complimentive way. To His Coy Mistress raises many key issues about love and relationships, one of this is how sex obsessed and forward men can be. Another is how easily love can be mistaken and faked. The man claims he is in love with the woman when really he just wants to have sex with her.
The poem uses many stong uses of imagery. One of these is when the male character sales “Thou by the Indian Ganges side”. This is implying about the woman’s beauty because at the time the poem was written the Ganges was a very famous play for beauty and the trade of expensive goods. Another is “My vegetable love should grow, vaster than empires, and more slow”. This is showing that his love for her is slowly growing to a large amount, but also has a darker meaning. The 2nd meaning is from the “vegetable love” part and it means that his penis is growing at the site of her.
Also the phrase “vaster than empires” could show he is trying to make his penis sound large and is trying to impress the female character. The sentence ” let us roll our strength and our sweetness up into one ball” shows he is trying to convince her to conjoin with him in one being, or in other words to have sex with him. “One ball” is meaning one being and how they should be as one. The structure of the poem is very distinct. The way there is no break, and that it is just one long verse shows the mans long, non ending struggle to have sex with the girl, but also how the woman wont give up.
The way it keeps going shows that he really wants to have sex with her, and as he keeps persisting, so does the structure of the poem. Both poems have one main similarity and one main difference between them. They are both about love and relationships and also about sex in one way. Both poems show a man wanting to have sex with a woman, but the difference is, in The Seduction, the man succeeds but in To His Coy Mistress, he does not. Both of the male characters are very similar and both are sex obsessed and lonely. The 2 poems view love in a different way.
In The Seduction, we see love as something that is discardable and that the man doesn’t care. In To His Coy Mistress we see that the man claims to be in love with the woman and if he is it shows that love is a part of sexual relationships. I think the seduction effected me most because it shows just how easy it is for a woman to be tricked into unprotected sex and that men can get away with manipulating women so easily. It also shows just how easy it is for 1 mistake to mess up someone’s entire life. I think the story line of the poem is shocking cause it shows how the media manipulates people and can ruin lives.