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Cousin Kate by Christina Rossetti
Transcript of Cousin Kate by Christina Rossetti
Can you be a 'plaything' and a 'love'? Yes. I'll let you work that out.
Look at the contrast between "dove" and "unclean thing". She was virginal and pure like a dove, but has become sullied by her love affair.
Look also at how he treats her, casting her aside. The contrast between the two women comes from outside: it is other people - including the Lord - who see the narrator as impure.
Look also at the way Cousin Kate is described as being "bound" with the wedding ring. This is a great opportunity to explore language. The metaphor can be seen as positive if you consider them bound together in a marriage, but also negative if she is constrained and unable to escape. The narrator's joy is very interesting and complex - a great opportunity to explore the language and how she is perceived:
look at the order of "my shame, my pride". First shame, then pride. Why? Is this the order that she saw the child? Does pride being last emphasise her feelings for him?
the juxtaposition shows how society views her contrasts with how she views him
is she proud because of the child as a human, or because Kate cannot conceive? The narrator concludes by looking at her own fecundity and that of Kate. She knows that both the Lord and her cousin want a child, but cannot conceive.
does she enjoy this failure? Look at the word "coronet" and the phrase "broad lands".
There is a sense of value and worth, money and possessions, as well as social standing. The narrator has nothing of this kind.
But what she has she values more. Feelings at the end Read my poem and I shall tell you some important stuff to revise... That's all folks...