Importance

“Melanctha Herbert wanted very much to know and yet she feared the knowledge. As she grew older she often stayed a good deal longer, and sometimes it was almost a balanced struggle, but she always made herself escape” (Stein 63).

“Melanctha had learned how she might stay a little longer; she had learned that she must decide when she really wanted to stay longer, and she had learned how when she wanted to, she could escape” (Stein 68).

The author, Gertrude Stein, uses a lot of repetition in both these passages. She repeats the words “longer”, “escape” and “wanted” (Stein 63).  These words are repeated  to show the reader that what is happening to  Melanctha is very important. Also, the second passage seems to answer the first passage. In the first passage, Stein calls what is going on for Melanctha a “balanced struggle” something that is taking her in two different directions (Stein 63). By the second passage, “Melanctha …learned that she must decide…” and seems to choose the way she wants to go (Stein 68). 

Stein, Gertrude. Three Lives and Q.E.D.  “Melanctha.” New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2006. 53-147. Print.

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