Peeling an Orange by Virginia Hamilton Adair
This poem is about a woman and her lover after they have had sex. The speaker's lover goes to eat an orange, and then they involve the speaker by eating the slices of orange off of her. The speaker pays special attention to the slices of orange, how they symbolize the sun, and the impact they have on the two lovers. Examining this poem from a feminist point of view there are many different angles you could take on this poem. First of all, is the speaker's lover male or female? Arguments could be made for both gender because there are various clues scattered throughout the poem which lend themselves to each gender. Secondly, is the orange supposed to represent male power? Constantly comparing it to a powerful and elusive sun, this orange could be a representation of the Sun God.
1. If the speaker's lover were female, how would that change the impact of the poem?
2. If this poem were written by a man then would the events in the poem change from loving to lustful events?
3. Would this poem have been accepted by society if it had been written by a man in the 1950s or earlier?
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I like this poem because the tone quickly changes as readers are made aware that the woman is “still weeping a little.” This reference alters ones perception of the situation that is occurring in this poem. The passage here shows the woman changing her mind and allowing herself to give in to the man.
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