Literature Research paper
Feminism and the Pumpkin Eater
For the longest of times, nursey rhymes have been used to teach children about society and structure. Gaines has suggested that rhetoric influences a person’s character and attitude CITATION Gai79 p 65 l 16393 (Gaines 65). However, if the rhetoric that influences children through rhymes such as Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater teaches them the oppression of woman kind, the question is this: what good is our education? And secondly, has there been any research conducted on whether what this rhetoric teaches is in direct accordance to our society’s values and beliefs?
In simple words, Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater is an outrageous poem. The thought that a man would take a wife and then keep her prisoner, and then take another in her stead would anger any self-respecting woman from any century. Furthermore, the poem’s lines clearly depict that Peter was not capable of keeping his wife happy, thus absolving her of any blame whatsoever. What, then, gives Peter the right to keep his wife prisoner? What gives him the right to take another wife? What does this say about the relationships of today?
What is noteworthy about Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater is that apart from being so evidently patriarchal, it is one poem that triggers the imagination to formulate many questions. The use of possessive terms in the poem is both repetitive and outrageous to a feminine mind: Peter wants to ‘keep’ his wife, and not be …
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