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La Dame and Cathy Ames Comparison

In the poem “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” by John Keats and the story East Of Eden by John Steinbeck both authors similarly characterize women as merciless through the use of the literary technique of imagery.Both Steinbeck and Keats throughout their writings describe events and people in great detail.Both of the women are beautiful yet ‘wild’, put a man to sleep, and force someone to solitude.

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In the beginning of both the poem and story the authors give a very visual description of the women.

They are both considered to appear on the outside as if they are “a faerys child” – beautiful. But when you look into their eyes a sense of being “wild” is within them. The wildness that the men see in their eyes foreshadows their merciless nature. The wildness alludes to and foreshadows the womens animalistic and heartless actions. In both storys the women seduce multiple men with their physical attractiveness in order to gain control of them and make the situation benefit them.

The authors use imagery in their texts by explaining in detail the womens outstanding physical features in order to make the reader picture the women in the same way that the narrator does. Steinbeck and Keats effectivly project the images of the women into the minds of the reader. In the two pieces of literature both of the authors specify a scene using imagery in which the beautiful women make a man fall asleep in order to obtain what they want.

In Steinbecks case it would be Cathy Ames overdosing Adam so she can sleep with Charles on the night of their wedding. While in Keats poem it is La Dame who slowly puts the unsuspecting knight to sleep so she can murder him. The women in these scenes commit awful acts but neither of them feel any remorse or conscience, which oes to show the women are truly merciless and have a “wild” nature. In Keats story he uses imagery in the knights vivid dream as a warning to show him all of La Dame’s past victims who had been lured in and killed before him.

This shows that La Dame’s feeling of love are false and that she will continue to mercilessly hurt people. The authors uses of imagery in these scenes make the reader feel like they are in the story watching the horrible acts take place and make the reader lovingly hate the women for their cruel and clever actions. In both texts Steinbeck and Keats write a very visual scene about men leaving the eautiful women and cutting all ties to them because they realize that the women are fake, merciless and “wild”.

In the poem written by Keats the knight wakes up as a lonely and “palely loitering” man because he realizes that if he continued to follow La Dame he would end up like all the other men who fell for her because she is “wild” and will never be tamed, she is merciless and all of her fealings were false. La Dame emotionally misconstrues the knight and leaves hime to live his life as a ‘dead’ person with his heart in a million pieces. In Steinbecks novel the whoremaster, Mr.

Edwards, beats and then leaves Cathy to die because he feels that Cathy had constantly manipulated him and hurt him emotionally, physically and finically and he ever have to deal with her and be put through what he had been. Throughout each of the literary masterpieces both authors similarly characterize women as merciless through the use of the literary technique of imagery. Both of the women are beautiful yet ‘wild’, put a man to sleep, and force someone to solitude. Cathy Ames and La Dame were characterized as two despicipable women who inflicted pain and suffering upon others, to make up for the emotions that they cannot feel.

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