Thursday, February 9, 2017

Edna St. Vincent Millay

I really enjoyed how the presentation was set up in order to contrast the readings. At the beginning of the presentation Mr. Searles informed us on the timeline of Edna's life. We learned about where she was born as well as where she attended high school. At Camden High School, Edna openly had affairs with many different people. With regard to her reputation as a free spirit, her first few affairs were essential to the fluidness of her character. After attending Vassar College, and moving to NYC, Edna then came out as openly bisexual. When thinking about the 1920s most people don't consider bisexuality to be as fluent in the time period as it was for Edna. A couple years later Edna married Jan Boissevian, whom she had an open marriage with for about 26 years. Jan considered himself to be a feminist, so he encouraged Edna to pursue as many people, as well as opportunities as she pleased. Again, in the 1920s it was very rare for a man to think this way in regard to his wife. The readings we studied in class by Edna greatly correlated to her 'free spirit' personality. One reading that was discussed in class portrayed Edna's outlook towards things that she considered to be 'petty' in life. "The Penitent" was a piece that exuded Edna's true feelings about relationships and her own sense of self. In an almost sarcastic manor she described how the actions she had done, and the people she had pursued are not really what mattered in the grand scheme of things. She didn't want to save her soul or make up for her sins, because she never truly felt as though she had sinned. The idea of this piece being that she just wanted to live in a free'er world. The rest of the readings we talked about all incorporated a sense of love and desire. In "Feast", Edna talked about how her desire and sexual drive was what fueled her fire for more, rather than the actual thing. "Love Is Not All" contrasted Edna's idea that the things we need to survive aren't nearly as important as love. She believed that without love in our lives, there is simple no point. City Trees offered a sense of youth and remembrance, as well as love. Trees were something Edna used in a lot of her pieces to describe those three things as a whole.

In our world today there are definitely a lot more people who have the same beliefs as Edna. For example, Miley Cyrus came out a few years ago as pansexual. Pansexual is a sexual orientation in which you do not discriminate against the sexual orientations or genders of others. Someone who is pansexual will find love with anybody regardless of what they identify as. Many other celebrities and people have recently come out as pansexual, as well as other types of sexual orientations as well. I think this correlates to Edna and her beliefs because she chose not to discriminate against the gender or orientation of her lovers either. Personally, I find Edna's pieces to be very enlightening. Even though I don't practice the same lifestyle as Edna I still respect and understand her's, as well as greatly enjoy her work.

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