Close Reading - Marriage

Close Reading - Marriage - Lister’s uses diction...

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Claire Tu Professor Richstad English 88M 23 April 2010 Granby Close Reading – Misinterpretation of Love and Marriage In Granby , Thomas Henry Lister discusses the obligation of marriage through Courtenay’s thoughts. Within the passage, Lister emphasizes how marriage can easily become an economic barter system between love and gratitude. After saving Caroline from drowning, Courtenay falls into a state of confusion. Initially, he is “transported with pleasure, at having been the happy instrument of saving from such imminent peril one whom he so truly loved (183).” Courtenay’s happiness is described as having been the “happy instrument,” which is somewhat contradictory because it is illogical for him to take joy in being an instrument, a person who is exploited or made use of. Courtenay thinks that his “bold and successful assistance” would “afford” him Caroline’s affection, meaning Caroline should owe Courtenay her affection as a result of him saving her.
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Unformatted text preview: Lister’s uses diction throughout the passage that pertains to money and deeds in order to suggest that debt and obligation can often be a misconstrued reason for marriage. For example, he uses the term “afford” when describing Caroline’s affection, implying that Courtenay is “purchasing” a wife for marriage. Furthermore, Courtney would “willingly owe the possession of her hand.” The use of the word “owe” further illustrates Lister’s point that marriage is something that can be bought because of debt and the obligation to repay the debt. Courtenay’s mentality of bartering for marriage clearly shows his lack of understanding of love; thus, he does not really love Caroline but is infatuated with her. Although Courtenay mentions his deep love for Caroline many times, this passage seems to support Courtenay’s misunderstanding of love, thus leaving him in this state of confusion....
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This note was uploaded on 01/22/2012 for the course ENGLISH 88M taught by Professor Richstad during the Spring '10 term at UCLA.

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Close Reading - Marriage - Lister’s uses diction...

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