"the flea"

Essay by afgxahmeedxpimpCollege, UndergraduateA, December 2012

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Power of a woman

Traditionally women had always taken a subordinate role to men. They have been viewed as merely sexual objects. Historically when men wanted to have sexual intercourse with women, they were not able to refuse or else they would be abused. At times, they would be raped. In the poem, "The Flea", John Donne shows how the man has taken the subordinate role by drawing the woman to have sex with him, and she constantly refuses showing that the final decision of having intercourse is hers. Moreover, he shows that men need women in their lives to nurse them because without them they will go insane. In the poem there is an indication that John wants her to take care of him as much as he wants to have sex with her. In line three it says, "Me it sucked first, and now sucks thee" (Donne 3).

The word sucked here represents an important thing. A baby sucks on her mother's breasts showing that he or she needs to be nursed. Hence, the fact that he was sucked first shows that he needed her nursing as much as the sexual pleasure. He wants to suck on her breasts and lips indicating the pleasure he wants. It shows his weakness that he needs to be sucked. Line five says, "what cannot be said"(Donnie 5). According to Mansour, this refers to a sin or shame (Mansour1). When people do a sin or shame, they derive pleasure from it. For example having sex without being married brings pleasure but it is a sin. There is a correlation between these lines. As much as he wants to have sex with her, he wants to be taken care by her. Furthermore, she is taking the dominant role because she does not allow...