"The young fellows counted the time to pass before she would be old enough to mate with them. This interest of the male, who wishes to ripen a growing thing too soon, could mean no good to her." (Karintha)
This passage brought about some mixed feelings in my case. My first reaction was one of shock to see that males were being portrayed in such a negative manner, but I also tried to look at the other side and put myself in her shoes. In Karintha’s situation, we see that “men had always wanted her” and they were in fact constantly imposing themselves inconsiderately. She has unfortunately become an object for men old and young, and they have caused her to lose any innocence she used to have. Their displays of affection have clearly become examples of personal satisfaction, and this has left her empty and unsatisfied throughout her life.
I tried to contrast this passage with her behaviors further along in Karintha, where she “stoned the cows” and “beat her dog.” Based on her situation of being taken advantage of by the greedy men in the poem, these negative actions seem to serve more as a response to her personal emptiness than anything. Unlike other women, she is unable to come of age properly, as those around her want to “ripen” her too soon. She sexually satisfies the desires of those around her without finding herself satisfied. This concept seems to show its true colors at the end, where men are unknown that she was a “growing thing ripened too soon” but continue to bring money and solely look out for their own cause. She carries out her existence living for the sake of others.