• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Carol Ann Duffy is only interested in warped, dysfunctional relationships, people and memories. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Carol Ann Duffy is only interested in warped, dysfunctional relationships, people and memories. Discuss. In her contemporary collection of poetry 'Mean Time, Carol Ann Duffy's focuses on the three main themes of dysfunctional and warped relationships, people and memories. She uses many techniques to portray the different aspects of these themes, and uses modern references to crease a feeling of recognition between herself and the reader, one of the reasons why she has been called 'the representative poet of the present day'. Duffy commonly uses the subject of memories in her poems, with a strong focus within this being the idea of feeling regret or dissatisfaction of life. One poem which has a clear feeling of this dissatisfaction is 'The Captain of the 1964 Top of the Form Team'. In this poem Duffy portrays a man who has long since reached the peak of his life - that being when he was 'Captain of the 1964 Top of the Form Team'. Duffy uses language here to expose the man's hidden feelings about his childhood and his life now. Phrases such as 'fizzing hope' and 'so brainy' turn into negative expressions at the end of the poem, as he refers to his 'stale wife' and 'thick kids'. ...read more.

Middle

The memories related to the house are given the character of bees or wasps. They 'sudden swarm' and then 'string you'. This shows negativity as bees and wasps are not popular animals and many people are afraid of their sting. The idea that the memories sting her demonstrates it is not a pleasant sensation she feels. This can also be seen through words such as 'shadow', 'pain' and the fact that when she leaves, slamming the door shut, she has to shake 'plaster confetti from your hair'. Lastly, we see the character on the journey home. Here the focus is on the negative side too, referring the how the places she once knew 'have changed their name by neon'. Even the weather is downbeat, demonstrated by the 'cold sweat' on the glass. Duffy demonstrates how the town has changed from a quite place into a town full of commercialised things. This is shown through the 'neon' names which can give out the impression of some sleazy town, especially with the reference to a 'drenched whore'. Duffy also uses irony here, through the term 'red light'. The reader is left unsure whether this is referring to a red light on the traffic lights, as the car stops, or red light in reference to a prostitute. ...read more.

Conclusion

Similarly to 'Mean Time', it is about the breakdown of a relationship. The title, 'Disgrace', refers to divorce but the difference here is that the character does not long for the past. The character describes herself as 'unpenitent' which shows her lack of regret, she is not sorry. The relationship was once dysfunctional; they 'had not been home in our hearts for months'. This intentional pun on the phrase 'home is where the heart is' demonstrates how the relationship had been over for ages, and 'how our words changed' refers to the fact they no longer spoke romantically to each other but in 'obscenities'. Death is a strong theme throughout the poems. In 'Never Go Back; there are references to the 'living dead', 'bereaved' and 'hearse' and Duffy describes the driver as looking like 'death'. Even the house has 'cancer', and she says it is 'nursing' itself. 'Havisham' uses words relating to death to portray the characters anger. She wishes her ex 'dead', 'stabbed' at a wedding cake, and asks for a male 'corpse'. The idea of death is extremely strong in 'Disgrace' as there are constant references to it. The words 'nursing' and 'corpse' are mentioned again, and Duffy even describes the humming noise made by a nearly expired light bulb as 'small deaths'. Even the kitchen is 'sullen' and the apples are 'rotten to the core'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Carol Ann Duffy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Carol Ann Duffy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How Does Carol Ann Duffy Present The Theme Of Being Misplaced In The Dolphins(TM) ...

    3 star(s)

    out of water for cheap entertainment provokes the question of whether such activity should even be legal. The poem explores the theme of misplacement through resigned emotion. The flexibility of freedom is valuable to the quality of life, and the dolphin's persona seems to understand this very clearly.

  2. Free essay

    Carol Ann Duffy explores the theme of childhood. Discuss in reference to at least ...

    boy who seems very happy and exited about his future, contrasting with the adult man whos tone seems bitter throughout the duration of the poem. The man shows a lack of responsibility for the fact that his life has not gobe accordingly, and this is a childish trait, showing he is still stuck in the past.

  1. How does Swindells effectively create and integrate the characters of Link and Shelter into ...

    This atmosphere becomes apparent from the title, "Stone Cold" as it gives us a sense for the mood and tone of the novel. It would be a completely unsuitable title for a romantic comedy, however as the themes are serious the title is very fitting.

  2. "Comprehensive" By Carol Ann Duffy - review

    character Wayne, this shows that the immigrants are more down to earth and they appreciate the simple joys that Wayne takes for granted. Wayne compared to the immigrants is actually more immature. He thinks that just because he is British and supports the National Front, he is superior to others

  1. Discuss Duffy's themes and techniques in "The Captain of the 1964 Top of the ...

    has a normal job, normal life and is altogether bored with life. But earlier in the poem he does however mention that a girl "Lucille Green" who was writing his name in her notebook and he "smiled/ as wide as a child who went missing on the way home/ from school."

  2. Discuss the development of the twins in The God of Small Things by Arundhati ...

    However, when the twins are older the symbol of water becomes more disturbing when Estha comes in from outside and is soaking. He takes off his 'sodden jeans. Stiff. Dark blue'. These words 'sodden' and 'stiff' let us know of Estha's negative attitude towards the water and therefore his negative attitude to what water represents.

  1. Compare the ways that family relationships are presented in Carol Anne Duffy's poem

    He describes his and his mothers roles in the relationship as "anchor. Kite" and it is obvious to us that she is the steady, safe, secure anchor, and he is the unpredictable, unsteady wavering kite - this may bring security but may also limit his freedom to fly.

  2. Childhood and Memories poetry.

    If you look at these collectively you can see that these are quite lonesome activities and events, none of them involve other people. My final example of religious connotations is in "Prayer", most of the poem is in iambic pentameter and I believe that this is trying to show that religion can bring order in to a hectic lifestyle.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work