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Is a coherent view of the past discernible in Carol Ann Duffy's anthology Mean Time?

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Introduction

Is a coherent view of the past discernible in Carol Ann Duffy's anthology Mean Time? Carol Ann Duffy's anthology Mean Time is littered with references to the past. With the title Mean Time in its self referring to time in an ambiguous ways, like Greenwhich mean time, or time associated with angry emotions. The most common interpretation being that the characters represented in many of Mean Times poems as in between two states, past and present. The characters are trapped, escaping, or reminiscing about past times retrospectively from a present time. Much of there past is what is now influencing there present situation or state of mind and Duffy accentuates this factor by being explicit and drawing attention to language that would draw a conclusion to that notion. The Captain of the 1964 Top of the Form Team is a 1960s quiz show between competing teams of school children who, representing their school and in school uniform, would answer general knowledge questions in front of an audience of school children. ...read more.

Middle

This poem establishes how the past and present are interconnectivly dependant on each other. This is explained as, without a past of experience and events that shape u as a person there can be no present effects. This notion is also reversed in that without a present the past would never be expressed fully either emotionally or physically with no results or effects seen from past causes. The poem title explicitly provides the reader with exactly what the context of the poem is. The reasons for this is possibly to engage the reader into how is Duffy going to describe the feelings of suicide appealing to our macabre sides of personality. It is commonly thought that language fails to describe many feelings especially that of suicide. The poem analyses the nature of suicidal impulse, by letting a would-be suicide talk to us in the moments before her death. It compares with The Captain of the 1964 Top of the Form Team (The captain), as it is also a dramatic monologue but fails in comparison similarities to that poem. ...read more.

Conclusion

The short sentences in the last stanza can be symbolic of time and how it speedily passed by to leave him where he is now which we never quite find out. Again a barrier is formed between the past and the present by the line "But there's the wall you climb". The wall denoting the barrier between past and present and shows how the two are separate. The context before the "wall" line is about the past, the context of the poem after the "wall" line is about the present. This structure reinforces the separation of the past and present. Also this show how the past forms a barrier that forms the future and weather or not you accomplish successfully by getting over or around the barrier will have an impact on your life to come. The Captain of the 1964 Top of the Form Team, The Suicide and The Good Teachers all portray the past, but in separate ways. In The Captain... the past is seen as a rich rejoicing memory, with dignity and pride at the forefront of it where the past was contrasted to the future to reinforce how commendable the past was. ...read more.

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