"The Flea" by John Donne Essay

The Flea” is about a man trying to convince a woman to have sex with him. As he is convincing the woman he compares the loss of the woman’s virginity to a flea since the flea has already been intimate with both his and her body and now their blood mingles within the flea. Not only is the speaker saying basically the woman has already had sex in a way, he’s also trying to show her how insignificant sex really is by using the flea as an example.

At the end of the day no one but the two of them noticed the flea and knew of its existence. In the last poem the woman decides to kill the flea and states that nothing has been changed by her actions and it remains equally unknown that she has killed such a tiny flea. Both the man and the woman argue that sex is insignificant therefore it can either wait, or happen at the moment because it’s such an insignificant act. The most widely used metaphor tthroughout the poem is the comparison of the flea and sex which makes e wonder ultimately how this poem is suppose to make you feel.

When you think about fleas or bugs in general, they are usually paired with some kind of negative emotion. The imagery Donne uses of blood mingling within a bug isn’t visually apealing. In my opinion the entire poem takes the woman’s side of the argument. Fleas ultimately aren’t wanted and when they are around you kill them rather than treasure them or let them stay alive. Fleas are also annoying and leave you with scars that itch and bother you in the future.

The speaker tries to convince the woman that keeping the flea alive will not harm her in any way but realistically she will be bitten over and over again and the idea of being bitten by an insect is disgusting. By simply killing the flea her body will stay pure which is, in fact, not disgusting. Basically I believe Donne comparing the sex to a flea gives sex a negative connotation overall and the speaker in the poem is trying to basically find good out of something that really has no good on the surface.

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