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