Critical Analysis of a Wagner Matinee

960 words 4 pages
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
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Cather then ends the story with the use of quite meaningful symbols to solidify the meaning of the theme. Cather uses the symbol of the black pond to symbolize the dark and depressing life Aunt Georgiana will have to return to. The next symbol is “the tall, unpainted house, naked as a tower” to symbolize how boring and plain Aunt Georgiana’s life has become without music. The final key symbol Cather finishes with is the symbol of the gaunt turkeys moulting above the door, just hanging there picking up refuge. This symbol represents Aunt Georgiana as she is stuck on the frontier with her life wasting away. The turkeys are gaunt and moulting, just as Aunt Georgiana looks when Clark first sees her. The turkeys are just hanging above the door picking up debris, just as Aunt Georgiana is now stuck on the frontier growing old.
Aunt Georgiana makes the decision to leave her love that filled her life with joy for the love of Howard. She thought she would only find more happiness in the love of Howard, but she is mistaken. Some, like Aunt Georgiana, sacrifice for love, others for more material things. People make sacrifices every day, some more significant than others. In the end, there are two sides to every story, for love the other happens to be sacrifice.

Yes, but again, focus on that she gave up one love for another - that in the end, she will always be