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AS/A Level English Literature > One Flesh > Flashcards

Flashcards in One Flesh Deck (5)
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1

Context

Part of the movement.
Wrote lyrical poetry.
Term "one flesh" comes from Genesis when God created Eve from a rib taken from Adam's side.

2

Structure

3 stanzas of 6 lines.

3

"Lying apart now, each in a separate bed
He with the book, keeping the light on late,
She like a girl dreaming of childhood,"

Detached description of elderly couple in their separate beds, isolated from each other. Suggests they once lay close but married life has changed. "Dreaming of childhood" hints at old age when memories of childhood become more vivid. Light is on suggesting coldness between them; passion associated with darkness.

4

"All men elsewhere - it is as if they wait
Some new event: the book he holds unread
Her eyes fixed on the shadows overhead"

Caesura at end of line 3 creates a pause reinforcing the idea of waiting. Wait for relationship to rekindle which is unlikely at their age. Book is an excuse to avoid communication. The "shadows" may be a metaphor for unfulfilled dreams or darkness.

5

"Tossed up like a flotsam from a former passion,
How cool they lie. They hardly ever touch,
Or if they do, it is like a confession
Of having little feeling - or too much.
Chastity faces them, a destination
For which their whole lives were a preparation."

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