A Comparison, “Women’s Beauty” vs “Talk in the Intimate Relationship. Sontag & Tannen

“Women’s beauty: Put down or power source”, an essay written by Susan Sontag, and “Talk in the Intimate Relationship: His and hers”, written by Deborah Tannen are close to each other in content they are both about the differences between men and women. However, one essay describes how women act in conversation with men, and the other is how they respond to the word “beautiful”. A common similarity between the two essays, are different behaviors of men and women. For example, in “Talk in Intimate Relationship: His and hers”, the author describes the differences between men and women’s responses to certain points in conversation.

Also, in “Women’s beauty: Put down or power source”, the author describes the difference of words to describe men and women, “handsome” and “beautiful” applying to the two sexes respectively. A second similarity is that both essays describe how women think and see themselves as opposed to men. In Susan Sontag’s essay, “Women are taught to see their bodies in parts” (Sontag 94), and “In men, good looks is a whole, something taken in at a glance” (Sontag 94) shows the difference in how women view their looks in contrast to how men view theirs.

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Deborah Tannen’s essay, ”Sure that makes sense, serve the cake tomorrow” (Tannen 156) compares to “The women were thinking of the metamessage: Serving a special cake frames an occasion as a celebration” (Tannen 156), which displays the difference between men and displays how women think in terms of conversation context, While these two essays look similar, seeing how they both deal with the differences between women and men, they are not. Inherently each essay has a different topic relating to men and women.

For Susan Sontag’s essay, it is about how women respond to the word beautiful, “To be called beautiful is thought to name something essential to women’s character and concerns (In contrast to men- whose essence is to be strong, or effective, or competent. )” (Sontag 93). Whereas Deborah Tannen’s essay relates to how women react in conversation with men, “Girls like to play cooperatively; if they can’t cooperate the group breaks up” (Tannen 162), as opposed to “Little boys tend to play in lager groups, often outdoors, and they spend more time doing things than talking.

It’s easy for boys to get into the group, but not everyone is accepted as equal. ” (Tannen 162) clarifies a clear difference between young girls, and young boys. This set of differences between the two essays helps ratify their difference in content. In conclusion, both of these essays show differences in men and women, between how they hold a conversation, and how they see themselves. However, this similarity also causes them to be inherently different due their differing topics.