Sex Without Love

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Love has many different meanings to different people and the way Sharon Odds and Andrew Marvell describe love is definitely diverse and singular, they both have different views of how love and sex should be expressed. In “Sex without Love" by Sharon Olds the speaker presents a clear view of the use of irony. She also reveals disgust for casual sex. She captures the shameful act of immoral sex and animates it with her language structure. Her use of imagery creates a picture in the readers mind. The elements that are compared with the idea of sex without love are usually seen as beautiful circumstances, but due to word choice these elements quickly turn into a disturbing scene as the poem develops. Andrew Marvell in “To his coy Mistress” has a different idea of how love and sex should develop. The speaker seeks to convince his lady to surrender her virginity to him and expresses a cynical, selfish view of life that sees the only escape from the hopelessness of a lifeless eternity in the physical pleasures of sexual intimacy.

As the poem beings, Olds uses a series of objects that seem perfectly normal to the eye, such as the ice skaters, new born babies, and runners, but these word mean more than a statement. Olds begins to answer her own question with a metaphor; "Beautiful as dancers, gliding over each other like ice skaters, over ice,"(2) the use of the ice skater feels simplistic but looking deeper, ice skaters are just performers performing an act that must be faked in order to show happiness and beauty. The dance is also performed on the ice implying that the act of sex without love is cold and impersonal. Another quite disturbing line in the poem appears in the sixth line, "wet as the children at birth whose mothers are going to give them away." While children usually bring about feelings of love and joy, it's the image of the abandonment that makes this scene seem as cold, if not colder then the previous metaphor. Olds could also be using this metaphor...
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