“Arraignment of the Men” by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

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Topic: Literature
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Introduction

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz was the famous Mexican poetess of the XVII century and the outstanding personality of her time. She went into a convent when she was young and devoted her life to serving God. Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz was one of the most educated and intelligent women of her time. Her literary works represented a significant contribution to the development of Mexican literature.

The aim of this essay is to analyze the work by Juana Ines de la Cruz.

The Analysis

In this essay, I am going to analyze the poem Arraignment of the Men by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. The central theme of the poem is the attitude of men to women. The poetess addresses her poem to the men asking them why they cannot see that the reasons for the women’s sins lie in the men’s attitude to them. She asks the men, “Will your fair words ease their pain when you ruthless set the snare?” (de la Cruz n.pag.).

She indicates to their unfairness about women. In the following stanzas of the poem, she says to the men that they do their best to win the hearts of their darlings and then claims that they have given up without a fight. The poetess also shows how contradictory men’s attitude towards women is. She wonders what kind of woman they seek if they judge for no reason and blame them all for their sins.

Then the poetess says that the men’s unfairness and prejudice lead to their own mistakes in the choice of the woman. They tend to reject the one who truly loves and choose another who only acts by her reckoning. However, in the last stanzas, the poetess says that the men’s prejudice is not the obstacle to true love.

“To solicitation truce,—
Then, sire, with some show of right
You may mock the hapless plight
Or the creatures of your use!” (de la Cruz n.pag.)

The poem Arraignment of the Men by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz represents the baroque style in the literature (“Sor Juana Ines” n.pag). This style was the characteristic feature of the literature of the epoch of the Renaissance. The rhetoric questions are the brightest literary technique used by the poetess.

“Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz knew well the weird and intense obsessions of language” (Limón n.pag.). The language of her poem is rather emotionally intense. I like the poem Arraignment of the Men. I think it is one of the best works by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.

Conclusion

To sum up, all the above mentioned, it should be said that the poem Arraignment of the Men by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz represents the baroque style in literature. The unfairness of the men’s attitude towards women and their prejudice are the central themes of the poem.

The poetess uses several rhetoric questions in her poem. Although she addresses her questions to the men, she answers them by herself in the subsequent stanzas of the poem. She indicates to the contradictory attitude of men about women. Overall, I should say that the Arraignment of the Men is one of my favorite poems by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. The works of the poetess are an integral part of the Latin-American literature heritage.

Works Cited

de la Cruz, Juana Ines. “Arraignment of the Men “. PoemHunter. 2010. Web. 2013.

Limón, Ada. “On Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz”. PoetrySociety. n.d. Web. 2013.

“Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (1648-1695)”. OregonState. n.d. Web. 2013.