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Critical Analysis of a Wagner Matinee

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Ben Braden Mr. Tatge Advanced Composition (1) 24 April 2013 Critical Analysis The Other Side of Love “For those I love I will sacrifice” is a quote by – (“Cite it somewhere”). Many people in life come upon the problem of thinking they found love, but actually lose another love in the process. Willa Cather employs this situation as she uses the character Aunt Georgiana to illustrate how Georgiana must do this while pursuing the love of a man in her famous short story “A Wagner Matinee.

” On top of Aunt Georgiana losing love, Cather implements the facts of the hard life people on the frontier have to live.

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Aunt Georgiana gives up her true love of music for the upstart love of a man to only later realize what great sacrifice she has made. Aunt Georgiana follows her new love Howard to only find hardships while losing the music that filled her life with joy. Clark begins telling us about Aunt Georgiana’s love Howard Carpenter by saying, “she kindled the callow fancy of the most idle and shiftless of village lads.

” Cather begins with this to show us that this man is not one with much desire to succeed and make life easy for him or his family. Making this one of the poorer choices Georgiana has made.

However, she developed “absurd and extravagant passions” for this young man that she could not avoid. So much that Aunt Georgiana could not get over this “inexplicable infatuation” for Howard and eloped with him. Aunt Georgiana has fallen in love with this man and has decided to sacrifice her love of music to pursue her love with him. After eloping they then moved to the Nebraska frontier as to avoid the criticism of her family and friends. Cather throws in the part about moving away to avoid criticism to show that others knew and tried to help Georgiana avoid this terrible sacrifice she would be making.

Then Clark remembers back to when he lived with his aunt she seldom talked to him about music, and to her her martyrdom was not wholly sordid. This shows how she knows of her great sacrifice, or martyrdom, but has not considered it the worst thing in her life. – While Clark was looking through one of her music books Aunt Georgiana came up to him and said, “Don’t love it so well, Clark, or it may be taken from you. ” This quote is one of, if not the most important quote in this story, for this quote tells more than anything of how Aunt Georgiana sacrificed her love of music when she pursued her love of Howard.

She loves music more than anything, and it ended up being taken from her as she makes sacrifices living on the frontier. She then said to Clark, “Oh! dear boy, pray that whatever your sacrifice be it is not that. ” Cather then reinforces her point by having Aunt Georgiana tell Clark to not love music for that is the worst sacrifice he could ever have to make. Then as Clark contemplates taking her to the symphony he thinks to himself that hopefully her love of music is almost gone so that her struggle will mercifully end at last.

Cather uses this little part to show that Georgiana has had a difficult struggle in losing the music that had once filled her life. She also uses this to show that even though she has been without music for so long it is still a huge part of her life that is just missing right now. Finally, with tears flowing down her face like a waterfall, Aunt Georgiana sobs, “I don’t want to go, Clark, I don’t want to go! ” She is finally reunited with her true love music and she is not ready to leave, at least not just yet.

That is why she is sobbing; not because she does not want to leave the opera house, but the fact that she does not want to leave this life full of beautiful music behind once again. Cather never tells us, but Aunt Georgiana might have never returned to the frontier, but if she did she did so heartbroken. Cather then ends the story with the use of quite meaningful symbols to solidify the meaning of the theme. Cather uses the symbol of the black pond to symbolize the dark and depressing life Aunt Georgiana will have to return to.

The next symbol is “the tall, unpainted house, naked as a tower” to symbolize how boring and plain Aunt Georgiana’s life has become without music. The final key symbol Cather finishes with is the symbol of the gaunt turkeys moulting above the door, just hanging there picking up refuge. This symbol represents Aunt Georgiana as she is stuck on the frontier with her life wasting away. The turkeys are gaunt and moulting, just as Aunt Georgiana looks when Clark first sees her. The turkeys are just hanging above the door picking up debris, just as Aunt Georgiana is now stuck on the frontier growing old.

Aunt Georgiana makes the decision to leave her love that filled her life with joy for the love of Howard. She thought she would only find more happiness in the love of Howard, but she is mistaken. Some, like Aunt Georgiana, sacrifice for love, others for more material things. People make sacrifices every day, some more significant than others. In the end, there are two sides to every story, for love the other happens to be sacrifice. Yes, but again, focus on that she gave up one love for another – that in the end, she will always be sacrificing for love. She is at conflict with herself. Works Cited

Cite this Critical Analysis of a Wagner Matinee

Critical Analysis of a Wagner Matinee. (2016, Sep 23). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/critical-analysis-of-a-wagner-matinee/

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