Theme Of Midnight Mass And When Women Love Men

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The two short stories I have chosen are Machado De De Assis’ ‘Midnight Mass’ and Rosario Ferré’s ‘When Women Love Men’. Through reading and analysing both of these I can compare and contrast the two very different themes of love throughout them.

The young man, seventeen years old, and the married woman, Conceição, thirty years old, meet in a dimly lit room, the parlour of the house. It is just lit by a kerosene lamp. The rest of the household is asleep as the meeting takes place between ten and midnight on Christmas Eve. From once the woman enters the room dressed in a white negligée the readers expect that there will be an attraction between the woman and the young man who is just passing the time waiting to go to Midnight Mass with the neighbour. This meeting occurs against the backdrop of a sanctimonious idea of going to midnight mass on the most holy of holy nights - Christmas Night and there in the dimly lit room a young impressionable hormonal young man could be tempted by a woman that is pure and saint-like. De Assis gives many descriptions of Conceição, her negligée, the shape of her face, the look on her face, the veins in her arms, these descriptions are like as if he were describing a statue. He says“she spoke ill of no one she pardoned everything, she didn’t know how to hate; quite possibly she didn’t know how to love.” As the evening wears on we note that he gives strong descriptions of her voice, her whispers, the movement of her head, the movement
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