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Dunne's Flea

1 Pages 363 Words

The suitor in “The Flea” argues that his girlfriend should stop being a prude. She worries about and he attempts to convince her that her honor is not at stake. He asks his mistress to notice only “this flea.” The desperate lover is groping for a symbol of union with his damsel. He explains that the flea has bitten them both. He reasons that since their bloods have mixed inside the flea’s body, they have already be aggregated. In essence, the swelling of the insect with "one blood made of two" is a surrogate pregnancy of their marriage. Therefore, their fornication would not result in a novel loss of innocence or honor.
Furthermore, the suitor uses his contrived metaphor of mixed bloods to employ guilt as a tactic for persuasion. He argues that if she would kill the flea, then she would be guilty of three sins. She would commit murder, because it is impossible for him to live on if faced with her sexual reluctance. Secondly, since her own blood is mixed with the flea’s, shedding the flea’s blood would be comparable to suicide. Thirdly, the flea is the institution in which their “wedding” took place. Therefore, it would be sacrilege to destroy it.
However, the yearning lover’s analogy comes to bear contradictory meanings. One idea presented is that their sexual activity is of minute significance. Donne says”Mark but this flea, and mark in this, How little that which though deny’st me is.” He then writes about high crimes and grave sins. At first he is flippant; he belittles the significance of the relations they might have. He claims that if the same effects can be realized within the body of a tiny flea, then the act itself cannot be of tremendous importance. Then, after a theological examination, the shedding of the blood within the flea is compared to multiple murders. If the existence of a mix of their bloods represents an activity of minute significance, its unraveling should not be compared to mu...

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