Sunday, September 6, 2009

In the Orchard by Muriel Stuart

In the Orchard

1. 'I thought you loved me.' 'No, it was only fun.'
2. 'When we stood there, closer than all?' 'Well, the harvest moonWas shining and queer in your hair, and it turned my head.'
3. 'That made you?' 'Yes.' 'Just the moon and the light it made
4. Under the tree?' 'Well, your mouth, too.' 'Yes, my mouth?'
5. 'And the quiet there that sang like the drum in the booth.
6. You shouldn't have danced like that.' 'Like what?' 'So close,
7. Whith your head turned up, and the flower in your hair, a rose
8. That smelt all warm.' 'I loved you. I thought you knew
9. I wouldn't have danced like that with any but you.'
10. 'I didn't know, I thought you knew it was fun.'
11. 'I thought it was love you meant.' 'Well, it's done.' 'Yes, it's done.
12. I've seen boys stone a blackbird, and watched them drown
13. A kitten... it clawed at the reeds, and they pushed it down
14. Into the pool while it screamed. Is that fun, too?'
15. 'Well, boys are like that... Your brothers...' 'Yes, I know.
16. But you, so lovely and strong! Not you! Not you!'
17. 'They don't understand it's cruel. It's only a game.'
18. 'And are girls fun, too?' 'No, still in a way it's the same.
19. It's queer and lovely to have a girl...' 'Go on.'
20. 'It makes you mad for a bit to feel she's your own,
21. And you laugh and kiss her, and maybe you give her a ring,
22. But it's only in fun.' 'But I gave you everything.'
23. 'Well, you shouldn't have done it. You know what a fellow thinks
24. When a girl does that.' 'Yes, he talks of her over his drinks
25. And calles her a--' 'Stop that now, I thought you knew.'
26. 'But it wasn't with anyone else. It was only you.'
27. 'How did I know? I thought you wanted it too.
28. I thought you were like the rest. Well, what's to be done?'
29. 'To be done' 'Is it all right?' 'Yes.' 'Sure?' 'Yes, but why?'
30. 'I don't know, I thought you where going to cry.
31. You said you had something to tell me.' 'Yes, I know.
32. It wasn't anything really... I think I'll go.'
33. 'Yes, it's late. There's thunder about, a drop of rain
34. Fell on my hand in the dark. I'll see you again
35. At the dance next week. You're sure that everything's right?'
36. 'Yes,' 'Well, I'll be going.' 'Kiss me...' 'Good night..’ 'Good night.'


1. What differences exist in the dialogue of the two speakers? How do those differences characterize the tone of the speaker’s voice?

Voice, persona, speaker

In the poem there are two different speakers. The first speaker is a girl and the second speaker is a boy. Both of the speakers are probably in their adolescent stage. [Lines 34-35] Their dramatic monologue and dialogue have shown that they have two different ideas and opinions on a particular subject—love. [Line 1]
Tone, perspective

Attitude of the speaker toward the subject

The first speaker manifested a remorseful tone and disappointment that her feelings were reciprocated by the boy whom she loved. Her feelings on the time of their encouter were sincere. On the other hand, the boy did not really intend to love the girl as he mentioned that it was only fun and that everything was just a game. [Lines 1 and 17]

Fresh or surprising perception of the extraordinary in the ordinary

In the dialogue, the girl knew that men often treat women as games but she insisted on loving the boy since she was expecting that he had treated her differently as compared to how men treat other women. [Lines 15 and 16] Similarly, the boy had an assumption the the girl knew and accepted what they had, thinking that she was like other women. [Line 28]

2. What do the questions, ellipses and the repeated words contribute to the poems tone?

a. Arrangement of words, phrases and lines
The words used by the poet conveyed both of the speakers’ subtle emotions toward each other. The questions given by the woman show that she’s confused as to the real emotions given by the man. She wanted to find out if the guy didn’t really feel love for her. She couldn’t believe that the man only treated her as nothing but mere fun and games.

The girl’s repetition of the boy’s lines shows her disbelief over the boy’s statements and her desire to clarify her assumptions with the boy. The poet’s style of repetitions of “it’s done” [Line 11] and “what’s to be done” [Lines 28 and 29] have exceptionally shown a change in the semantic impact of the poem, these lines underlying implications that the girl and the boy did something more than just a kiss and a dance. It can also be said that the boy may have done something more sensual to the girl, as in the context of sex [Lines 22 and 26]. Another evidence is the presence of metaphors comparing girls to a blackbird drowned and to a kitten as it was pushed to a pool and thinking of these acts as fun [Lines 12 to 14].

b. Punctuation
The ellipses show that there are some thoughts that both speakers would have wanted to say but they couldn’t. When the girl said that she had to go, the ellipsis in her statement would have implied that she wanted to say something about what happened between her and the man but she didn’t get the courage to speak because she found out that everything was meaningless to the boy. [Line 32] The ellipses on the boy’s statements however showed that regardless of some positive statements that he siad about girls, he wanted to point out it was all plain fun for him and what happened between him and the girl meant nothing [Lines 19 to 22].

1 comment: