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Both the characters and situation described in Passage one and Passage three elicited different responses.  Passage One provoked a reaction of understanding and confirmation that what was being said was a fairly accurate representation of reality.  Passage three however, did not provoke such responses.  As a reader, I responded with disgust and had flashbacks to the thoughtless and sometimes tacky writings offered by a Mills and Boons book.  Through the use of characters and situations I was positioned by these texts to respond in such a way.

Passage one’s character was a teenager and therefore being one myself it was easier to relate to her descriptions on the trials and tribulations of her love life.  Experiences such as those of Alex are common to a lot of teenagers today.  Also the contemporary scenario of the story made it easier to fit into the way I view male and female relationships in reality.  Having an understanding of the context in which this text was cr4ated also assisted in my comparing the text to reality and thus testing its accuracy.  When reading about male/female relationships I find that the more true to life it is the more I am likely to sympathise and respond to the character.  Also the language used by the author to describe the girls’ conversation was informal and reflected the style of language used in everyday conversation.  This made it easier for me to understand what was being said, without having to wade through a barrage of metaphors, similes and other forms of figurative language.  The straight to the point, no frills approach was greatly appreciated.

Passage three represents an (what I would call) unrealistic representation of male and female relationships I do not think I have ever come across a situation in reality where a man has declared so emphatically that he wants “a woman who would love me as she loved her children.”!  nor a situation where a woman has found her “Adam”.  The characters in the passage use such ridiculous and figurative (some would say flowery) language to describe their feelings for another.  The dialogue used by the characters does not resemble that used in real life, hence the difficulty in understanding their situation.  The Marquis represents the chauvinistic male who perceives Perdita as an object with which to do his bidding.  This is demonstrated in the line “I believe I am your Adam after all.  So now you must pay your debt.”  This illustrates that the Marquis’ love is not unconditional but based rather on the notion that for what he gives her she must give in return.  Perdita also represents the powerless, domestic and traditional woman who is the kind of image that modern females such as myself are wanted to break.  The fact that the characters in this passage reinforce outdated and stereotypical views of males and females made it difficult to relate to the characters and their situation as effectively as I was able to relate to those i Passage one.

Though Passage one and Passage three both deal with male female relationships, I believe that Passage one was much more able to communicate its ideas than passage three.  This was largely due to its identifiable and realistic characters and dialogue.  In fairness to the author of Passage three, if society still enforced the ideas of domesticity in females and chauvinism in males then I might have been able to understand where these characters were coming from.  However, as the society in which I live does not and the people in it do not walk around describing sex as “a Paradise of indescribable delight”, suffice it to say, I cannot understand the text as effectively.

Questions:

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