Saturday, May 10, 2008

Theory questions: "Anorexic" by Eavan Boland

The poem "Anorexic" by Eavan Boland can be viewed using Gender Criticism. Although there are males with eating disorders, they tend to be more common in females. This poem is written by a woman so there is the possibility that she or someone she knew was anorexic. The poem is written in the first person referring to the narrator's body in the third person calling her a "bitch." However the disease is a male, the narrator says she will give up food and, "slip/back into him again." The poem is devoted to being thin and doing anything to stay that way. The things like breasts and hips are erased as the narrator loses these feminine qualities in her quest to be as thin as possible.

Critical questions:

1) How would this poem be viewed had this poem been written by a man or had a male narrator?

2) What is the narrator saying about herself and what message is she sending to the reader about anorexia in that she is ridding herself of feminine physical qualities to be thin?

3) Why is the disease referred to as a male and what does this say about the narrator's views on the male gender?

1 comment:

jaccoma said...

3. I feel that the speaker of this poem is trying to get at the fact that this symptom is just as significant to men as it is women. It is one of those diseases that people think it would be impossible for a man tohave. I feel the poet is trying to shed more light on that truth.