What would a modern girl's response to the shepherd's "invitation" sound like?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

'In the poem 'The Nymph's Reply To To The Shepherd' one poet presents an idealistic view of what life would be like, but another poet comes along with his version to undo the sweet dreams of the first. I think a modern girl's response would be more like the second version in saying 'well.... it's so cute that you think the world could be that way, but I don't think it's going to be like that at all. i wish it was, but the world is harsher and more unforgiving than you think. One day, I hope for those airy fairy things you believe in - but I don't think that day is coming any time soon, so no thanks I'll rely on my own hard work and ambition to get me places, rather than rely on a hopeless dreamer like you.

Sad but true about the more career minded youngsters of today I'm afraid!

Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If a modern girl were educated and not too indoctrinated by our still somewhat patriarchal society, her response would probably sound something like Raleigh's, "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd."

One would have to be fairly naive and gullible to fall for lines like the shepherd's today. 

But, I suppose, it would depend on the "modern" girl, and, of course, on whether the modern girl was in love with the shepherd. 

If you're speaking in general terms, though, I would look at Raleigh's reply I mention above, and then look for ways in which a modern girl might differ from the nymph. 

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would think that a reply could go in one of two or three ways, depending on the personality of the girl involved.

One way to respond would be something along the lines of "you think that stuff is going to make he happy?"  In other words, what do I want with a bed of roses and a cap of flowers?  The response could be about wanting more material things like we have now.

A second response could be "what about a job and a career?"  This would reflect a more modern view of women's roles.  The girl would be thinking "okay, so that stuff is nice, but what about the other aspects of my life?"

mkcapen1 | Student

I believe that a modern response would depend on how infatuated the girl would be with the potential suitor.  Having raised four daughters to adulthood, I have found that a smooth talker can woo a young girl very easily. 

My teens would have probably responded by saying "That is so sweet.  He really cares about me."

However, once my daughters had become more wise to the reality of words versus actions, I agree with the first narrator.  They would have been wondering what else the smooth talker had to offer.  I think they would have asked him, "So, you are making all these lovely promises but where are they going?  Are you talking marriage or are you just trying to get me to fall for you and then plan on dumping me."

"If you are talking about marriage, then what are we going to have to live with?  We need educations and jobs.  Love acan only sustain us for so long."

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The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd

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