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Poetry Analysis of Post-1990 Poetry Havisham (1998) by Carol Ann Duffy

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Introduction

Poetry Analysis of Post-1990 Poetry Havisham (1998) by Carol Ann Duffy 'Havisham' by Carol Ann Duffy surrounds the ideology of the character of Miss. Havisham, famously featured in Charles Dickens 'Great Expectations'. It is written from the perspective of herself as a monologue directly giving her a realistic and creating a persona. The poem explores the anger and hatred of the woman who was jilted on her wedding day by her fianc´┐Ż, leading to a theme of the unfairness of relationships; possibly how this affects the woman in contrast with the male figure. This is shown between Havisham's confusedness between love and hate for her ex-lover. Throughout the poem, there is a repetitive use of enjambment, for example, in the line "who did this - to me", in two separate stanzas and the line "the dress - yellowing" on two different lines. ...read more.

Middle

Bang." This represents the ruthless nature of the situation, and the shock of the 'bursting' which would be natural to any other individual. Balloons are typically used for celebration; however this is contradicted by an oppositional view. Also, the colour red symbolises love and passion and the relevance of this bursting is the hatred that has overcome this initial emotion. Another example of this alliteration is "b-b-b-breaks"; portraying her sobbing sounds and again suggesting violence. This almost gives the reader an image of the heart fighting to beat once more and breaking repetitively. It is also noticeable that Duffy uses the 'b' consonant throughout using alliteration; exaggerating the cruelty of the situation. An outstanding line is the description of Miss. Havisham's eyes as "dark green pebbles"; creating a feeling of emptiness and sense of harshness within the tone of the writer. The use of the colour "green" suggests cruelty and as monsters are typically associated with this reference of colour, it indicates her emotions toward herself; a psychological hatred swallowed with bitterness and jealousy. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is much to suggest in this stanza that Havisham has been frozen in the same place for a substantial, unknown amount of time with phrases such as "the dress yellowing" and "I stink"; leading to vivid imagery for the reader and perhaps slight sympathy as this is very unnatural for any being. "cawing Nooooo at the wall" illustrates her animalistic instincts, surviving in her individual habitat because of her refusal to move forward in time ultimately becoming like an animal. This is also associated with a crow "cawing", traditionally being a symbol of bad luck. In addition, another striking phrase is "her, myself". This may have different interpretations; one of them being that there is a momentary failure to recognise herself because of her aging without having lived life, being unnatural and feeling that her youth has been stolen. She may also be unable to replicate the fact that it is she that has done this, ultimately meaning that she be psychologically disturbed, as may be the case within this situation. ...read more.

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