Thursday, April 3

Marriage, a societal acceptance for giving into animal lust

In the poem The Wedding Dance In the Open Air, the poet William Carlos Williams uses word choice to suggest that marriage makes giving into one’s carnal desires socially acceptable. Williams had a group of poems based on some of Bruegel’s because of how Bruegel made each painting’s uniqueness not the focus of the painting. One’s eyes are first drawn to something that could be found in most paintings, rather than what makes it stand out. You have to look for what makes each one unique. In the painting, The Wedding Dance In the Open Air, there is arguably nothing to suggest that it is a wedding, aside from the title. The first sentence of the poem starts of with a phrase that some might find contradicting, “Disciplined by the artist,”(1). This is because the arts have been closely associated with the acceptance of ones human desires since the beginning of arts. The Greek and Roman god of theatre was also the god of wine. The artists create though instinct and express themselves by their own desires rather than societal norms. To say that people are “disciplined by the artist”(1) is a unique choice. The title suggests the music is for a marriage. Marriage is a societal norm, a very structured binding of two people. Williams’ combination of a highly structured word, “disciplined,”(1), and a instinctual word, “artist,”(1), suggests that marriage is a way for us to give into our human desires, but still be viewed as moral in society. “Holiday,”(4) suggest that the day William is describing is a time or period of exemption from any requirement, duty, or assessment. The day Williams is describing does not have to have any rules or regulations. This, again, is someone’s marriage day. This is the day that, if one believes in Christianity, is the first time that you are socially able to give into carnal desires, without any punishment or any dirty looks. On a normal day, not a holiday or after you are married, this act that binds a marriage is frowned upon in average society. Marriage makes these acts less dirty from a societal perspective. The crowd is becoming so consumed by the moment that they are becoming “riotously gay,”(5). This marriage day is growing to the point that it is riot like. Riots are an unrestrained outbreak, as of laughter or passions. That is to say that people are being uncontrolled by society, even though it is a day of marriage, which is as an act itself is meant to be very controlled by society. The crowd sees the marriage as a way to give into their own uncontrolled passion. The marriage made their merriment acceptable “Doxies,”(7) is a very contradicting word but goes along with this concept . It’s definition is either religious views, or an immoral woman. Either definition could be applied here. The people could be well anchored in their religious views, or it could be a comment on the women. The comment about religion would show their love to order, while the comment about woman would show a more animalistic view on woman. This concept could be applied to a view marriage. It is filled with order and righteousness, but inevitably leads to what, otherwise, is unclean. “Breeches,”(18) leads us to other ideas that support this conclusion, especially after looking up the definition of the word. “Breeches,”(18) has many different and interesting definitions such as riding pants, the lower portion of the human trunk, and the part of the firearm behind the barrel. Riding pants could be chosen by Williams to make us think of horses, which is an animal. Animals aren’t bound by society and look at intercourse in a different light because of it. On the marriage day it is acceptable to give into these animalist desires. The lower of portion of the human trunk is basically where all of the lust that marriage allows takes place. The firearm behind the barrel creates an image that is very suggestive in nature. “Breeches”(18) also leads one to think of the word breaches. Breach means to brake through. Marriage allows us to brake through societal standards and give into carnal desires. This concept that marriage makes intercourse socially acceptable is interesting, although the poem doesn’t suggest if it is a logical or illogical look at relationships. Williams wants point out that marriage creates a moral freedom for physical attention. He wants to let you see this and make your own decision on whether or not it is logical. Whether or not it is logical is your choice, but the fact that marriage is a way to be socially accepted and still be carnal is undeniable, and suggested throughout this poem

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