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Discuss 'Queen Kong' By Carol Ann Duffy

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Essay One Queen Kong 'Discuss a poem of your choice from 'The World's Wife'. Queen Kong, in relation to the monstrous gorilla King Kong is a somewhat peculiar character that thinks of herself as a human being. Although she is an enormous, terrifying animal, she shows love, affection and passion for a male human. Her devoted nature is a complete contrast to her appearance. Her temperament is undeniably opposite to King Kong, who acted aggressively and with hate towards humans. She thinks of herself as quite normal, and falls in love with a male human. The difference in species does not alter her affection; in fact I'm not sure she even notices. She is so wrapped up in devotion and love for this man, nothing else matters to her. The first few stanzas of the poem lead you to believe that Queen Kong is not actually a gorilla, but a real person. 'Staying in 2 quiet hotels in the village, where people were used to strangers and more or less left you alone.' Obviously it would be impossible for a gorilla to comfortably stay in a hotel suite, but the way that Carol Ann Duffy portrays her character is that of a human. ...read more.


Many powerful adjectives are used throughout the poem to describe her emotions, good and bad; also to describe her beloved; in other words, perfection in her eyes. It isn't until the fourth stanza that the man is mentioned in a keener way, as if he does love Queen Kong and is not being forced into the relationship merely by her size. 'He'd climb into my open hand, sit down;' this describes his enthusiastic approach towards her; he loves her too. But then he has to go. This absolutely tears her apart. Her dominance over him lacks in this stanza, 'But I let him go, my man.' Although she still refers to him as 'her man', she is letting him go; she is trying to do best by him, simply because she adores him so much. The emotional toll of her man leaving her is clearly represented in stanza 8. 'I slept for a week; then woke to binge for a fortnight. I didn't wash.' This sort of uses an American way of portraying Queen Kong; when men think that women sleep and binge eat ice-cream to make themselves feel better, which is again attaching her character to that of a human. Also, 'I bled when a fat red moon rolled on the jungle roof' gives reference to the female menstrual cycle, which gorillas do not experience. ...read more.


In a strange way, this is a very loving gesture. Her man will be with her wherever she goes, and travel through the remainder of her life with her, which is exactly what she wants. I think Queen Kong is very pleased that she did not let her man go completely, she fought for him and because of this they managed to spend the last twelve happy years of his life together. There is irony at the end of this poem; whereas the famous King Kong died in his storyline, Queen Kong is not facing death, but dealing with the consequences of losing a loved one which is entirely different. This shows the feminist point of view, the female being left to live whilst the man passes away. Queen Kong is one of the only poems in the collection 'The World's Wife' that portrays men in a positive light. Although the human involved could not put up much resistance against the gorilla, it does describe him as a loving character that was almost willing to spend his life with her. This poem encourages female dominance whilst also, by regularly using the adjective 'little' to describe her man and his genital features you know that this story is a complete contrast to King Kong with the female controlling the relationship. It is very interesting to see the role reversal, especially when written from a feminist point of view. ...read more.

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