In Ellen Kay’s poem “Path edy of Manners,” there is the element of surprise and also of sympathy. Feelings toward the subject are changed by the end of the poem. The young lady being described in this poem is very smart and popular. She is a young, respected sorority girl at the age of twenty. As a reader, I feel a bit jealous of all of the attention she gets. She seems to get what she wants.
She moves on from school, travels, and then she gets married. Her husband is the perfect match for her because he is an “All-American” boy with the same history as she. The poem describes their marriage and home to be “ideal.” The children are also described as ideal, although also said to be lonely. Here I see that this young girl’s world is not perfect.
Possibly, her children are being neglected or not feeling love. It could also be that they do not have friends because they are viewed as “better” than others. The end of the poem brings in the most sympathy for the character. She has grown older, her husband is dead, and her children have moved away. She thinks about remarrying, but she’s afraid that she ” ll see what she missed out on in her youth.
In the first line of the last stanza Ellen Kay says “A hundred people call, though not one friend.” This shows that the woman in the poem is well known but is not close with anyone. It is not known why she doesn’t have friends. Some possible options are that people just don’t like her as a person, they are only interested in her social status. Also, it could be that all the calls she receives is business. One final hypothesis is that maybe people are jealous and think that they are not worthy of her friendship.