This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Annie On My Mind And The Tradition Of Courtly Love

632 words - 3 pages

At first glance, Nancy Garden’s Annie On My Mind appears to be an unconventional romance. The setting in New York City and the queer relationship between the two main characters Annie and Liza, indicate that this story bucks the traditional conventions of romantic literature. However, the book adheres to the tradition of courtly love—a trope of classic romantic literature. In chapter five Annie and Liza role-play a knight and damsel during a visit to the Cloisters. Initially the role playing appears to be simply a continuation of the game they played at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the first chapter, however a closer reading reveals that the passage is an homage to courtly love.

It’s difficult to imagine a more perfect setting for a courtly love scene. The Cloisters is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. With its enclosed medieval ...view middle of the document...

Tokens of love reveal something about the nature of the relationship between two lovers. Lavender flowers represent devotion and virtue, by selecting it, Annie is symbolizing her desire to devote herself to Liza and her virtuous intentions toward her. The lavender reveals that this is no fleeting romance for Annie, rather it is something pure and true.

Because the women involved in courtly romances were typically married, their romances were typically secret affairs. Liza is eager to finish the role playing game “quickly, because the huge family with the obnoxious shutterbug was about to come through the door that led to the garden,” (54) signalling her desire to keep her burgeoning feelings for Annie a secret. Though she later confesses that she doesn’t want “to be sitting outdoors in public, with Annie, pretending we were just friends,” (142) it is only behind the closed doors of Miss Stevenson and Miss Winthrope’s apartment that Liza is full able to express her love for Annie, both physically and emotionally.

Sir Thomas Malory whom Liza references when she tries to remember the legend of King Arthur but ends up “sounding more like Shakespeare than Mallory,”(54) popularized courtly love in his work Le Mort D’Arthur. Mallory was himself a knight, and Liza’s attempt to channel him shows Garden’s attempt to have her slip into a typically male gendered role in order to advance the romantic relationship between Annie and Liza.

By having Liza and Annie perform traditionally gendered roles, the knight and the damsel, readers who are more accustomed to the common themes of heteronormative romances will be able to more easily identify with this lesbian narrative. Had Garden resisted the urge to have Liza slip into the typically male gender role of a courtly romance it would have provided the reader with the opportunity to see a conventional story played out in a very unconventional way. On the surface Annie On My Mind contains all the elements necessary to subvert the common themes of the romance novel, but the execution itself proves that this is actually a classic love story masquerading as an unconventional romance.

Find Another Essay On Annie On My Mind And The Tradition Of Courtly Love

Chaucers Use of Courtly Love Essay

833 words - 3 pages Chaucers Use of Courtly Love Chaucer's Use of "Courtly Love" Chaucer admired and made use of the medieval "courtly love" romance tradition, although he did not fully "buy into it." The "courtly love" code is based on the woman as the center of attention. The medieval knight suffers greatly for his love, who is often someone else's wife. He will do anything to protect and honor her, remaining faithful at all costs. Adultery and secrecy

Women´s Role in Society in Antigone, Aeneid, and The Art of Courtly Love

1272 words - 5 pages , more roles within the church became available to women. Women were given opportunities to escape child bearing, acquire literacy and learning and play a more active religious role in society. From my point of view Catherine did not rebel against the laws of society. She just grabbed the opportunities that came her way and showed the world that women can also be good rulers. In The Art of Courtly Love written by Andreas Capellanus and in The Lais

Chaucer's "The Miller's Tale" as a Parody of Courtly Love

672 words - 3 pages physical fruition; it is more holy than that. Her, as well as my, marriage is beneath our love, our love of admiration and complete devotion. She will swoon for me as I shall fight for her, and our spirits are forever intertwined. Physical love and lusty temptation are too worldly for us.These would be the thoughts of any proper knight toward his lady. "The Miller's Tale" is a satire of courtly love and its actuality in times contemporary the

Courtly Love in Troilus and Criseyde

3885 words - 16 pages tradition.    The origins of courtly love are obscure.  It is claimed to have come from Moorish influence as the Arab poets brought lyrics of lady love to Europe, or to have been European in origin, influenced by the Celts, Cathars, and Neo-Platonists.   From this tradition, however, many popular ideals originated which are still common beliefs and practices.  For instance, ideals about sex and society such as love at first sight, fidelity

English extention speech on courtly love out with the old in with the new

596 words - 2 pages Out with the old. And in with the new. This well known statement which in this context is stating that the old conventions have no meaning for contemporary composers or audiences, is completely falseToday through the analysis of my movie "Dead Poets Society" I will attempt to show that the conventions of courtly love have evolved and are still evident in today's society. Firstly Courtly love is described as love derived from the sight of and

The impact of society and tradition on behavior

833 words - 4 pages in the town does not think of it as anything major, which was very unsettling for me considering what actually happens during this traditional event. The societal behavior in “The Lottery” was brought on by tradition. This started the practice of group thinking which is basically the thinking or decision making a group of people do that discourages individualism and often results in unreasonable and illogical decisions. Before the lottery began

Freedom on My Mind: The Black Codes

1047 words - 5 pages In the book “Freedom on My Mind” it states, “the legal status of blacks in early Virginia remains controversial because laws regulating slavery do not appear in the colony’s legal statutes prior to the 1600s.” Since laws regulating slavery did not appear, English colonists were able to create codes which determined who could be a slave. I will go into detail about these codes and how it made an impact on the development of black history. This

The Life of Annie Sullivan

1313 words - 6 pages to Scotland in the summer hoping to restore her health. Annie died when she was 70, on October 20th, 1936 at her house in New York. Annie Sullivan’s ashes were put at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. Many other important figures ashes lay there, too. At her funeral, Bishop John E. Freeman said, “Among the great teachers of all time she occupies a commanding and conspicuous place. . . . The touch of her hand did more than illuminate the pathway of a clouded mind; it literally emancipated a soul.” Annie did so much more than teach Helen how to read and write. She taught her how to live.

Courtly Love in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

1365 words - 5 pages sees Juliet he says; "My lips two blushing pilgrims ready stand/ To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss." However this also suggests that he wants to kiss Juliet and forget all of the rules of courtly love. I think he does this because he genuinely loves Juliet and jus wants her to be his straight away, whereas when he loved Rosaline she was something he could pretend to love. Shakespeare uses a sonnet to

The Impact of Music on the Mind, Body and Spirit

2708 words - 11 pages The Impact of Music on the Mind, Body and Spirit Music is fun. The very mention of the word seems to stir emotions that are exciting and interesting. The mind shifts to recall memories that have long passed, moments that could presently be experienced, or future events that will hold a place in one's heart and mind. In everything, there is sound. Where there is sound, there can be music. Where there is music, activities are taking place

The Effects of Serotonin on the Mind and Body

1275 words - 5 pages medications and drugs available which may affect a person's serotonin levels. By understanding the way in which serotonin affects humans, it will give us a greater understanding of the way our minds work.The Effects of Serotonin on the Mind and BodySerotonin is a compound widely distributed in the tissues of the human body; mainly in blood platelets, intestinal walls, and the central nervous system. Serotonin was first discovered in the body and

Similar Essays

The Contradiction Of Chivalry And Courtly Love

911 words - 4 pages in the combating of the two "schools" is that courtly love’s ideal of placing a woman on a pedestal does not meld well with the reality of medieval England. Women are, at this time, beaten, abused, discriminated against, and dishonored. The noble notions of courtly love are not apparent in the treatment of women. They are believed to be the only one’s capable of committing adultery. Men are expected to have sexual experience when they marry. Women

Effects Of Courtly Love On Medieval Women

1514 words - 6 pages This is an essay for my Women's History in Medieval Europe sophomore-level course. It discusses the effect of troubadours and courtly love practices on women of the High Middle Ages. Women were both empowered by these practices and also were made vulnerable.References to texts used in the course are made in parantheticals- not necessary to understanding the essay.Love overcomes both great and small,Love rules, for Love is lord of all."Fealty to

The Wife Of Bath: Illustrating Courtly Love

942 words - 4 pages In the Middle Ages, when The Canterbury Tales was written, society became captivated by love and the thought of courtly and debonair love was the governing part of all relationships and commanded how love should be conducted. These principles changed literature completely and created a new genre dedicated to brave, valorous knights embarking on noble quests with the intention of some reward, whether that be their life, lover, or any other want

Courtly Love In The Knight’s Tale And The Wife Of Bath’s Tale

1669 words - 7 pages “The noble knight slays the dragon and rescues the fair maiden…and they live happily ever after.” This seemingly cliché finale encompasses all the ideals of courtly love, which began in the Medieval Period and still exists today. While these ideals were prevalent in medieval society, they still existed with much controversy. Geoffrey Chaucer, a poet of the period, comments on courtly love in his work The Canterbury Tales. Through the use of