Sharon Olds | Critical Essay by Brian Sutton

This literature criticism consists of approximately 4 pages of analysis & critique of Sharon Olds.
This section contains 1,098 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Brian Sutton

SOURCE: "Olds's 'Sex Without Love'," in The Explicator, Vol. 55, No. 3, Spring, 1997, pp. 177-80.

In the following essay, Sutton analyzes thematic and stylistic contrasts in the poem "Sex Without Love."

Sharon Olds's frequently anthologized poem "Sex Without Love" gains power through three contrasts: a contrast between surface approval and deeper criticism of "the ones who make love / without love"; a contrast between emotional coldness and physical heat; and a contrast between the poem's solemn, philosophical tone and its reliance on sexually graphic puns.

Many images within the poem appear to suggest that the speaker admires people who partake of sex without love. They are almost immediately described as being "beautiful as dancers," and later are compared with ice-skaters, "the true religious / the purists, the pros," and "great runners." All of these comparisons seem, at first glance, favorable.

Those whose sex is...

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This section contains 1,098 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Brian Sutton
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