Transition From Childhood To Adulthood In My Last Duchess By Margaret Atwood

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In the story, “My Last Duchess”, the author, Margaret Atwood describes a teenager who is in transition from childhood to adulthood. The story begins with the main details of the main character’s (the narrator’s) English teacher, Miss Bessie. Miss Bessie is described by the narrator as a sophisticated and elegant lady, who is ideal and perfect teacher. The narrator points out that Miss Bessie does not only have a good appearance as a woman, but also had a good taste in her dressing choice. In the statement “…but that was her name among us. It was far more respectful than our names for some of the other teachers: the Gorilla, the Crip, the Hippo” (p.212), the narrator shows how much Miss Bessie was respected unlike the other teachers. Furthermore, she goes ahead and speaks of her teacher’s pitiful nature. For instance, Miss Bessie was known for scolding her students using sarcasm, but she was “never sarcastic in about honest blunders”. It is due to the considerate nature of Miss Bessie towards her students that forms the basis of the speaker’s respect. Miss Bessie gets her respect as a teacher from the manner she treats her students and…show more content…
According to her, the Duchess in Robert Browning’s poem “The Last Duchess” was killed due to her earnest smile that made her cheap to everyone, which disgusted the Duke (Alfonso). However, Bill believes that the Duke was the villain in the poem as he killed an innocent friendly Duchess. The narrator and Bill have an argument and Bill ends up insulting her when he calls her “a brainer and a show-off”. The narrator feels betrayed and disgusted, but what shocks her is when bill says “You think you are smart”. The narrator feels betrayed by this statement as according to her, these are the kind of statements that school dropouts tell normal students who do what they are supposed to be

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