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The response of the narrator of Margaret Atwood’s short story critiques the poem “Last Duchess” in several ways. According to the poem, the duke stops in front of the portrait of the late duchess and starts reminiscing about the life of the duchess. The duke claims the duchess had a disgraceful behavior since she flirted with everyone, and she did not appreciate the gift of his 900 years’ name. However, according to the narrator in this short story, the duke is the villain in the poem since he killed the innocent and friendly duchess. Her interpretation of the poem led to her breakdown in the relationship with her boyfriend, since they had different opinions. I agree with the narrator. This is because the duke had no right to kill the duchess even though she flirted with other men. This is because it is immoral to take the life of another human being despite the reason for taking away the life.
This reading addresses several social problems that women face in regard to their education. Women are not taught on how to become future professionals. According to the narrator, the society expected boys to become lawyers, doctors and dentists. On the other hand, girls are expected to be married or become house cleaners. In addition to this, girls are not taught how to deal with relationships and break-ups. The narrator was optimistic since she always felt that she had a good future. She was always good in literature, and this gave her morale to succeed in life. However, when she argued with her boyfriend, and they broke up, her spirit was really destroyed. She became lonely, and the only image that she could see was a dark tunnel behind her teacher. This shows that she started losing hope in the meaning of life and her future. This is evident in contemporary films and literature since there are several films where main characters, especially women, take away their lives due to failed relationships. An example of a contemporary literature addressing this issue is Never Let Me Go.