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In Medusa it can be said that Duffys main concerns are negative ones: jealousy, self loathing and loneliness. How far do you agree?

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Introduction

In 'Medusa' it can be said that Duffy's main concerns are negative ones: jealousy, self loathing and loneliness. How far do you agree? Carol Ann Duffy has been called "the representative poet of her day" upon publication of "The World's Wife". She is a woman who sought to reveal the dynamics between men and women, in which women have historically had less power. "The World's Wife" allows individual voices to be heard whilst Duffy builds up what amounts to an orchestra of individual women's voices that result in a collective female voice. These voices are often forgotten or disregarded in a world that lionises men but marginalises the women who live with them. Revolutionism is used to portray the characters and their motivations from a negative perspective, conveying a different message to that of the well known tale. Duffy's satirical style, influence by the exploration of her feminine identity, implies Duffy's primary concerns within her poetry to be negative. However throughout "Medusa" there's an underlying tone which is, in fact, positive. ...read more.

Middle

There is a bitter irony around the stipulation 'as though' her thoughts have become snakes crawling all over her head, such companions rendering her estranged from any companionship at all. She has become the epithet of the abject woman. Duffy's comparison of the narrator and women of today's society demonstrates the idea of conforming to a "look" deemed acceptable by society and how individuality is viewed as immoral. The narrator finds her appearance repulsive and this self loathing invites sorrow, offering a depth and authority to her perspective. Having been transformed into an object of terror and imperfection through the potential infidelity of someone with outward physical perfection, the narrator proceeds to issue a chilling warning in the shape of a list of creatures that she has turned to stone. A mere glance at a "bee" or "bird" renders them respectively into "a dull grey pebble" or "dusty gravel". The verbs "spattered" and "shattered" are powerfully destructive and disruptive to the natural order that would otherwise prevail. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet who would dare to gaze upon the narrator knowing the living death that awaits them for such a look? Hence the last line is both plea and threat. And Duffy creates a moments in her poetry where a character is simultaneously in several psychological and emotional places at once. It indicates her resignation and sadness in the face of what she has become but there is also a remaining desire for Perseus to see her as she once was. Duffy indents the final two stanzas creating the ambience of a mirroring imagery. The stanzas conform to a reflection and realisation upon "Medusa" and a change is seen. Loneliness haunts her much like "Queen Kong" who had "been so lonely". Duffy's feminist approach into her poetry creates the satirical feel that is relevant to modern day society at the time that she wrote the collection. However, her relevant ideas into feminism from the way in which society subjected women viewing them as immoral are questioned through the undertone of optimism. Love being a positive attribute, limited within the collection, is demonstrated through the use of Duffys negative concerns, creating the narrator her own voice. Word Count: 998 ...read more.

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