When comparing Margaret Atwood’s “You Fit Into Me” with Sharon Olds’ poem “Sex Without Love” one cannot help but see the correlation between the two. Both poems begin innocently enough, but the reader quickly realizes quite the opposite. They are harsh and brutal in their own ways. Beautiful words and imagery give way to the use of blunt and aggressive ones.
Margaret Atwood’s poem “You Fit Into Me” addresses the brutal nature of sex, love and relationship. In the first couplet, it shows the innocence that love can have. By using the symbolism of the hook and eye – one used on a garment – a simple closure, one that is used to unite or bring to separate have together as one. It shows how as in a garment closures are united – they “fit into” each other. They are meant for each other. One could not work without the other. It is representative of the act of consummation – the hook into eye.
To twist comes in the second couplet, when Atwood drastically changes the tone from one of innocence and loveliness to one of shock and brutality – completely unexpected. The violence of the second couplet is a dramatic shift in tone. To switch to a “fishhook” in an “open eye” can be seen as a loss of innocence and naïveté. Fishhook is sharp and cold, it pierces and tears away at the sensitive, delicate “open eye.” This is a brutal, violent act – one that the reader would not have been expecting it to the gentleness of the first couplet. When we first fall in love we do so with their eyes open, we only see how “right” our partner is for us - how well we fit together. Once the love fades, it is sometimes replaced by pain.
“Sex Without Love” by Sharon Olds starts out innocently enough - “beautiful as dancers gliding over each other like ice-skaters over the ice” (Olds 2-4), but there is a deeper meaning hidden within these lines. I skaters are performers – performing on ice – a cold, hard surface. Sex without love is a seemingly cold and impersonal...