A Certain Lady - Argumentative Essay

785 Words Jun 22nd, 2015 4 Pages
A Certain Lady – Argumentative Essay

When Dorothy Parker paints her lips red (3) during her poem A Certain Lady, she 's doing it because society expects her to - but this essay will argue that she 's also doing so out of paid obligation. At first glance, 'what goes on while (you 're) away / you 'll never know ' seems like unrequited love between friends, specifically the feelings that she has for him, but this is not the case. Certain lines in the poem discuss themes of emotional detachment, obligation and promiscuity – typical of what readers would expect of someone who lives a life of sexual debauchery. Analyzing this poem with these themes in mind, the poems ' main speaker can be easily understood as a woman who sleeps with men for money. Below are some of the lines within Parker 's poem that lead us to this fact, and how they can be read as the practices and feelings of a prostitute, as well as some counter arguments of why this may or may not be the case. Parker begins her poem with this idea of playing a role. She 'tilts her head and smiles ' for him and listens to him with eager lips (1-3). This statement can be read with sarcasm, which would make the speaker seem like she 's unamused with the man she 's speaking with, and is merely pretending to care about what he 's telling her. It can also be read genuinely, as if she enjoys the attention. The second part of this line shows that there are expectations of females, within this time period, to wear makeup when…

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