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Critical Commentary: “How To Tame A Wild Tongue”

1538 words - 7 pages

When a care-free late 30’s woman crosses over the 40 year old threshold, she experiences radical changes which are force her to question herself. Society forces these women to feel insecure and anxious. Men and the unique exception of Kate Moss’, on the other hand, have to endure no such feelings when passing the very same barrier. “Shocking news! Kate Moss is 40 and ‘still looks good’”, an article written by Deborah Ross and published by The Times, tackles this issue. Kate Moss, an English model who rose to fame in the early 1990s, is one of England most desirable women. Just recently, Kate turned forty; and like every woman in almost every society, Kate is being scrutinized upon complete 40 years. Kate, however, differs from most women. While society pins down most women upon turning 40 and shreds their self-esteem, society has ‘accepted’ Kate and is surprised at how good she still looks. She ‘simply defies nature’, Deborah Ross claims. This article is intended for women who are either nearing or pass 40. Throughout this ‘conversational’ article, Deborah Ross highlights the adversity most women have to face upon turning forty; an adversity men and Kate Moss don’t have to endure. She does this by writing the article in a personal narrative and by comparing the lives of most women with men and Kate Moss as they reach the same 40 year old barrier.
Deborah Ross cleverly writes the article in a first person narrative; this enables readers to actively engage with the topic since first person narratives form personal and emotional connections between the author and the reader. Through the use of first person narrative, Deborah creatively pens the gruesome moment of her life when she turned forty. The reader, expected to a female nearing or pass forty, will either fear the day she will reach “the old age of youth” or connect with Deborah’s experiences. The first person narrative form emotional bonds between the reader; by emphasizing the oppressive nature of the people around her when she turned forty, Deborah creates a fearful mood which she hopes will cause her female readers to take action against the issue. A pinpoint example of how Deborah skillfully uses a first person narrative can be found at the end of the third paragraph; the line goes “’By the way, I’m running off with my secretary, who isn’t 40, reads Vogue and Grazia and shave her legs.’ I let him go. What could I do? I was 40. My nails were all hard and yellow. And ridged (that happen just after midnight I think)”. The day after turning forty, the narrator’s husband has left her for someone who isn’t forty, for someone who reads popular fashion magazines, for someone who shaves her legs, and for someone whose nails weren’t hard and yellow. The narrator begins to doubt herself upon turning forty; she finds those under forty to be more attractive and desirable than her. The narrator also stresses that turning forty marking the undesirable change in the physical body; apparently, the night...

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