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Compare and contrast 'Redneck' and 'Warming Her Pearls' by Carol- Ann Duffy and Liz Lochhead

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Introduction

Duffy and Lochhead both write about personal relationships. Compare and contrast two poems taking into account of the methods which each poet uses to write. ?Warming Her Pearls? by Duffy and ?The Redneck? by Lochhead are both dramatic monologues dealing with personal relationships; ?Warming Her Pearls? is narrated by a servant as she expresses her unrequited love for her mistress. ?The Redneck? is told through the eyes of a woman, now divorced as she reflects back on her wedding day and in doing so reveals her attitude toward her ex-husband. The former poem deals with a desire to begin a relationship while the latter deals with the termination of one. ?Warming Her Pearls? is structured into six, quatrain stanzas. This careful organisation reflects the strict instruction the maid is under, and how she is expected to carry out these instructions accurately and precisely. However, ?The Redneck? is written in free verse to represent that the speaker views her marriage as trivial and that she doesn?t care much about it as she looks back upon it. ...read more.

Middle

In the third stanza the maid’s use of sibilance also portrays a sexual desire through her use of the soft, seductive sound, ‘the soft blush seep through her skin like an indolent sigh.’ This strong desire is sharply contrasted in ‘The Redneck’ by the speaker’s flat, matter of fact tone and through her callous attitude toward her soon to be husband, ‘him shouting ‘Perfect working order’ / every two minutes… a right rid neck’, with the latter statement from her fiancé, the only sexual reference throughout the poem. The lack of affection between the two newlyweds and the blunt language, ‘toward that pig’ shows that this marriage is far from the fairy tale wedding most women dream of. However, in ‘Warming Her Pearls’ there is a definite sentiment of a fairy tale within the maid’s description of her mistress’ return after a night at a ball. She depicts elements such as a ‘full moon’, a ‘carriage’, and her ‘dancing with tall men’ which are reminiscent of the typical fairy tale to illustrate this. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, there is no such lust or desire present in ‘The Redneck’; the height of admiration the speaker shows toward her fiancé is when she says, ‘Kilt suited him but.’ Even the colloquial used by the speaker reduces any sexual appeal the poem may otherwise have possessed as her language seems rough and lacks elegance, ‘hoary’, ‘ma da’, ‘I had my mammy roasted’. The time following the wedding also lacked any kind of love or desire between the two newlyweds, there is no mention of a honeymoon. The final stanza speaks of how she allowed herself to gain weight as she didn’t care what her husband thought of her appearance. The juxtaposition between the two poems is evident through the poets’ use of language, tone, and structure, with one being a long, slow, desire filled poem, and the other a short, matter of fact account of how the speaker’s wedding day was endured rather than enjoyed. This shows that personal relationships can come in many different forms and have many different consequences attached to them. ...read more.

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