Herrick: Delight In Disorder Shows Delight In Life

The lively figures of speech in Herricks Delight in Disorder show his sensual delight in the little things in life. The oxymorons, animations, images, and paradox in this poem display the authors enjoyment of true uniqueness. The animations in Delight in Disorder show how the speaker sees the clothing as having a will of its own that makes the outfit more bewitching (13). For example, the author cites a tempestuous petticoat and a careless shoestring as things that cause the womans dress to be unique and intriguing (9, 10). Through his use of the animation tempestuous petticoat, the author shows the reader that the petticoat not only flows freely and wildly, but the woman is also free and wild (9). The careless shoestring shows the how the disarray of the woman and her dress make her unusual (10).
The oxymorons in Delight in Disorder show the true uniqueness of the woman, as well as her dress. The phrase, sweet disorder very directly shows the authors appreciation of the womans wayward clothing (1). The womans clothing is clearly out of place and, though society often considers this unbecoming, the speaker finds it sweet. Wild civility denotes pleasantness and wildness at the same time (12). This draws the speaker towards the woman in the poem and her individual sense of style while still staying within the confines of polite society. This small hint of rebellion is appealing to the speaker, and he uses oxymorons to show his appreciation of the beauty that this creates.
Delight and Disorder is filled with images of clothing in an order that follows the glance of a man. The description of the womans crimson stomacher and cuff neglectful show that the man takes every part of the womans dress into account (6, 7). He looks at each part of the woman, and finds something unique about it. The images within the poem proceed from head to toe; similar to the way a man looks at a woman. The speaker begins by looking at the lawn about the shoulders thrown, then moves to the crimson stomacher, cuff neglectful, tempestuous petticoat, and ends with the careless shoestring (3, 6, 7, 9, 10). Each image shows the attention that the man pays to the woman.
The paradox in Delight in Disorder is that though the womens clothes are untidy, the man still finds her alluring. The nonconformist look of her clothing is precisely what draws him to her. Her careless shoestring and ribbons to flow confusedly are some of the little things that the speaker notices that seems to be out of touch with the common dress of the era (10, 7). Most women in the 17th century were very careful to have every piece of their clothing in place; their shoestrings were always tied, and their ribbons were never confused. In Delight in Disorder Herrick shows his love for the woman by loving her lack of comportment and her personal style.
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