• 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)

    it took themselves a while to realize that this was not an ocean, and that the space no longer stretched beyond horizons. To continue the irony, the last sentence of the first verse states that "There is a constant flowing guilt", as the people working alongside the dolphins of the

  2. "Comprehensive" By Carol Ann Duffy - review

    "You can't help taking the piss". He doesn't understand that it is part of a Sikhs religion to wear a turban, maybe because he doesn't know anything about their religion. This character seems to fear that associating with the emigrants would be bad for his image, or that he might get bullied.

  1. Free essay

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

    The child has learnt the power of language and knows that what their saying is offensive. The use of the words 'fuck off' show the beginning of the childs loss of innocence. Duffy's poem 'Lizzie, six' is predominantly about childhood, but unlike the many of her other poems, the theme

  2. "In Mrs. Tilscher's Class" by Carol Ann Duffy deals with one central theme. ...

    This is the first occasion in which the poet shows signs of growing up, which enforces the main theme of the poem. The girl learns that the real world isn't to be trusted. The classroom however is portrayed as a world of its own, not troubled by the likes of such horrific murderers.

  1. "Duffy expresses her social criticism by giving voices to characters who reveal their lives ...

    And Duffy feels that because of these views that society holds or held are affecting everyone in a negative manner. She feels that he steals because of what society has made him, an egotistic man. Like in 'Psychopath' where the character illustrates his power and the fact he is a

  2. It is sometimes claimed, usually by male critics, that contemporary women poets are only ...

    Though it can be said that gender issues are the most prevalent theme, it would be untruthful to say that Duffy is only interested in exploring this issue.

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

    which gives us a sense of time passing quickly when he was a child. . The theme of the poem is nostalgia for the past when he was the person others would depend on to know the answers to all the questions, he still see's himself as that person but in reality he doesn't have all the answers.

  2. Carol Ann Duffy

    In the second stanza Duffy is imagining her mother in the ballroom, the thought of having a child is a long time into the future. A thousand eyes the glitter ball in the ballroom or maybe five hundred pairs of eyes of prospective husbands.

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