Sex Without Love - Pollock 1 English 231 05 December 2007...

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English 231 05 December 2007 Sex Without Love Sex Without Love “Sex Without Love” by Sharon Olds examines the duality of sex. It is an existential poem about the irony of joining two bodies together when their souls will always be independent. Olds suggests that the person who can have sex without love is better off because he understands his essential aloneness. Although the sex is warm, and two people may feel connected, ultimately sex is a cold, distant, fake connection because no matter how much sex or warmth one finds, everyone is alone in the end. The act of sex without love is a cold, and meaningless performance, and should be reserved for the selfish. This belief permeates the diction and structure and is visible in the examples Olds uses to describe the act of people having sex without love. The poem opens with a question, “How do they do it, the ones who make love without love?” (1) illustrating her curiosity and disbelief of how people engage in intercourse without devotion. Throughout the poem, Olds compares events and ideas that hold similar dualities with the act of sex. There are two sides to each of her ideas, and she recognizes that and contrasts the two concepts, developing and fortifying her belief that sex without love is a cold, meaningless exercise. The first, a poetic staged dance on a cold, hard surface. Ice skaters, although interacting beautifully, are only actors on ice. There is no real love in their performance on the frigid surface. The line “Fingers hooked into each other’s bodies” (4-5) is a distant description of their contact, using a sterile, inorganic Pollock 1
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adjective to describe their equally effete, unnatural connection. Performing on ice makes
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