A Certain Lady Dorothy Parker Analysis

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The poem “A Certain Lady” by Dorothy Parker, is an unrequited love declaration presented in first person by the speaker to a love interest, whom remains oblivious to the feelings expressed by the speaker. The writer, Dorothy Parker, best known her piercing wit and wordplay was a celebrated writer and critic during the prime of the roaring 20’s and 30’s. A biography on her life and people she worked with while she wrote gives insight to a story about a woman who was lonely, sad, and unlucky in love. In this piece she adeptly illustrates the yearning that a woman has for her casual lover. His ambivalence to her experience pains her so as he is unable to see. In the first verse, “I can smile for you, and tilt my head”, is an example of a woman acting to appease this man and…show more content…
The next line “And drink your rushing works with eager lips and paint my mouth for you a fragrant red”, she is putting on a good show for him when she listens intently and wearing red lipstick, these are all tactful ruses by a lady trying to win the attention and affection of a man that she does not want to see her vulnerability. This in a way may pay tribute to women and their relationships during this era, and even now, especially in the “party scenes” where it is perfectly expected for a man to be promiscuous and the women to remain coy and attentive, bending to a man’s cues. (Maybe contrast this to how women still may also have to do this in this era) Her sarcasm is almost something she is using to shield her desire and give herself power to protect her own feelings. (Give some examples from the poem) The second stanza brings up her lovers list of loves, this could mean past or present loves, and either of them could cause her to twinge and not want to let on to her true feelings. The words “Oh, I can laugh and marvel, rapturous-eyed”, she again uses her acting t lines of the
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