Comparative Analysis of the Cut-glass bowl and Benediction by F. Scott Fitzgerald Benediction by Fitzgeral story revolves around a young girl, Lois who seems to be confused on whether to end her relationship with Harold…
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Cut-glass Bowl is a story about Evelyn Piper, a housewife in New York society who a superficial and pretty woman. Evelyn had been cheating on her husband of seven years for six months, and the affair was the talk of the town until the husband found out. The bowl in question is the center of this story because it disintegrates with Evelyn’s life to bring about several tragedies, and eventually finishes her. In the two stories, Fitzgerald uses the major characters to explore the issues of morality vs. secular, reality vs. illusion and the wistful sadness of romance, which is the focus of this comparison. The Benediction story presents a conflict between morality and secular. This is noticed when Lois asks his brother and friends at the seminary why they joined the brotherhood while still young. She believes that they should explore the other side of the world (secular) before they join the seminary studies and commit to celibacy. She questions whether the decision to celibate before experiencing the pleasures of the world is good or not. This presents indecision that some people who strongly wish to join seminary may have. For instance, some young Catholics are held back by the desire to got out and experience the world before committing to celibacy. As a result, the decision to hold back on joining seminary at a young age might bar some people from entering the studies and thus, living a secular life. This might also raise the question of what the society thinks about celibacy, is it morally good?. Nevertheless, Keith and his friends are satisfied with their lives at the seminary, and from them we learn that celibacy at a young age is not a bad idea. Similarly, the issue of morality in the society presents itself through the actions of Evelyn in Cut-glass Bowl. Evelyn is unfaithful to her husband as she has been seeing Gedney for a period of six months until her husband found out, and that is when she decided to end. This portrays what happens in this New York society. Housewives become too lonely until they decide to seek affection from somewhere else since the husbands are too busy to give them attention. Though this is immoral behavior, they believe that it is the right way to relieve their loneliness and frustrations experienced in marriage. Evelyn is also described as a heartbreaker defining her character before she got married. What is more fascinating in the story is that divorce is not an option for Evelyn and her husband because it is considered immoral in the society. Therefore, this implies that having an affair is not considered wrong, but divorce is, which is supported by Evelyn’s husband who acknowledges that the affair was just a mistake. Reality vs. illusion is also a concept widely explored by Fitzgerald in the two stories. For instance, in Benediction, Lois cannot separate what is reality and what is an illusion. This is revealed on her visit to her brother’s school where he is learning to become a Jesuit priest. First, she wants to end her relationship with Harold, but she does not have a reason to for this. She gets the illusion that things will never work between them. She is confused about the true meaning or religion and Catholicism, in which she shows indifference towards it. However, something magical happens to her during the Benediction service whereby she experiences genuine righteousness (Brye 38). Her conversion reveals the underlying reality or ultimate truth that is
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