Literature is one of the most exciting subjects; it enables a reader to exercise their analytical skill as well as enjoy the author ideas. Different aspects that happen in their environs elevate authors of pieces of literature. For example, some author writes literature as a way of communicating and revealing the world the cultural practices of the society they hail in. Other writes as a way of exercising their writing skill. However, regardless of the motive behind, the author will always have specific themes motivate the audience. In the book of A Wagner Matinee” by Willa Cather and “Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck. The two book of literature brings forth the issue of feminism and the change they undergo as result of the various event that precipitates in their lives. To this end, the research paper provides insights on series of changes that happens to the protagonist. Besides, the paper also provides insight on how the changes define their destiny.
Elisa is the protagonist in the Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck, she is a smart, energetic, stunning and an ambitious woman. She is married to Henry who one would describe as an unimaginative man who keeps himself busy with the errands of his business. He is the typical traditional man who restrains himself from using her wife skills to better the prospects of his business. He always keeps her wife at bay whenever he is conducting business in the ranch. Besides, the way he communicate issue regarding the business also suggest that his intention not to involves the mind of her intelligent woman. Eventually, her intelligence is only used to maintain her flower and household chores. Such activities require less of the brain but more of body energy. On the other hand, Wagner Matinee” by Willa Cather book has a Clark as the protagonist; He a young, intelligent boy who has a big dream. He aunt, Georgina, has undergone a series of changes, which has significantly changed so many aspects of her life.
Apparently, Elisa, the protagonist is facing some unfulfilled sexual desires and sentiments. At the age of thirty-five and she has no kids; this is clear evidence of this predicament. Besides, her lack of child also points out about the relationship between her and Henry. In most cases, when such event precipitates, one can comfortably conclude that there exists a nonsexual relationship. Georgina, Clare aunt, has been married for the last their years. The way she got married happens to one of the most fascinating love stories. At some point, their story reminded of William Shakespeare book, The Merchant of Venice. In this book, we had a character who eloped and got married against her parent will. The case of Georgina is no doubt similar to the case of Jessica in the Merchant of Venice. However, an element of change has proved inevitable.
The pursuit of sexual desire can be eminently powerful; which might lead to an irrational decision, which might have serious implications. The protagonist is married, but she seems not be enjoying what one would term as a ‘perfect’ marriage. The author has portrayed the behavior as normal and common. To this end, Elisa was attracted to the tinker who is a complete stranger. Her reaction seems to be so powerful such that, she entirely submits to stranger. The manner she communicates to him sounds pornographic; besides, she knells before him in a posture that depicts sexual submission. According to Steinbeck, this is the moment of ‘awakening’; her attraction towards the tinker left her docile. Aunt Georgina was a teacher at Boston Conservatory, during her carrier she falls in love with an ordinary village lad named Howard who was nine years younger than she was. At the point, Aunt Georgina was thirty; this means that Howard was only 21 years. Aunt Georgina parents did not approve this relationship whatever. However, Georgina did not heed the warning of her parent, and eventually, the eloped with Howard. To this end, this marked the turning point of Georgina. With her Juliet, they left the big city and settled in Nebraska since her suitor was a total destitute. At this point, you understand the magnitude of the love and affection.
In “A Wagner Matinee” by Willa Cather and “Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck book, the protagonist experience the same form awakening. Elisa has a strong sexual desire towards the total stranger. The experience reveals the levels of sexual dissatisfaction she had in her marriage. In addition, her behavior also reveals the nature of the relationship as well as his romantic nature of his husband. Georgina, on the other hand, seems to have more than one point of awakening. Her decision to elope with Howard was based on love and affection. She left the city to a village with a man who was penniless. Besides, she left her carrier path to walk on the love path. However, after so many years of hardship, she makes a bold decision to come back to the city. Life in Nebraska was not a walk in the park; Clark says that he is ashamed to walk with her aunt; her skin has become yellow due to hardship in the village.
The ‘awakening’ is similar since there are based on love and affection, besides, they also have an element of suffering. Georgina has suffered immensely in the Nebraska such that she has decided to come back to the city. However, it also essential to note that she had a sexual awakening earlier, which led to her elopement. At this point, one can conclude that the first awakening of Aunt Georgina is permanent since she has suffered the consequence of her decision. Besides, her decision to come back to town seem solid; the suffering and hardship in Nebraska seem to the driving force. However, the awakening moment of Elisa seems too hard to fathom. From, the reader point of view, it hard to conclude whether it temporal or permanent since it involves sexual desire. The desire might grow to something else such as love, or it fades and dies a natural death.
To this end, the protagonist has experienced a moment of awakening. The consequence has been brutal in some cases such the case of Georgina. The male protagonist in the book of A Wagner Matinee” by Willa Cather sympathizes with her aunt. Her decision to elope with Howard opened floodgates of suffering and hardship. However, in the case of |Elvis, it hard to conclude hoe this encounter will shape her life. However, it evident that her relationship is having very severe problem.
- Murphy, J. C. “Wagnerism and American Modernism: Rereading Willa Cathers A Wagner
- Matinee.” Forum for Modern Language Studies 50, no. 4 (2014): 405-25. doi:10.1093/fmls/cqu027.
- Steinbeck, John. “Steinbeck’s ‘ Chrysanthemums.” Explicator. 45, no. 3 (1987): 50.