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The Kray Sisters- Carol Ann Duffy. Textual Analysis

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Introduction

The Kray Sisters- Carol Ann Duffy The poem begins with "there are the twins" in italics, to show it is an outside voice saying it. This shows that they have a reputation and are well known. Duffy also uses cockney rhyming slang throughout, (frog and toad, mince pies, Vera Lynn) which gives it a voice and identity. The amount of rhyming slang used decreases as the poem goes on, which could be a device to show how the twins have changed and gone up in the world. Savile row suits are also mentioned, giving the twins a masculine edge, until their "thr'penny bits" are pointed out, showing that they are not compromising their femininity. In line 7, "London, London, London Town" emphasises the twins' love of London, and gives the line a wistful, reminiscing tone, which makes us wonder what happened to them. ...read more.

Middle

By using the word "skirts" she is further reminding us that these are the female twins, and the line also shows that they looked up to their grandmother. They heard the "stories of Emmeline's army", which refers to the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and her fight to get women the vote. This tells us that the imagined sisters were not brought up to be ladylike and gentle, but to believe that they were equal to men, which is a theme running throughout this poem and the whole collection. Duffy then goes on to describe the suffragettes as "diamond ladies" showing that they were hard and beautiful, and that the twins consider these admirable qualities. The internalised rhyme in the next two lines, "salt of the earth" and "died giving birth" shows us the close knit nature of the East End community. ...read more.

Conclusion

"two of them getting Engaged; a third sneaking up the road every night to be some plonker's wife" outlines their derogatory attitude towards men, and things that would generally be seen as respectable, are seen as unacceptable by the twins. "A boyfriend's for life, not just for Christmas" paraphrases the well known RSPCA slogan "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas". This further degrades men by comparing them to animals. The names of their clubs are also disrespectful to men "Ballbreakers, and Prickteasers" "Word got around" is another reference to reputation, and word of mouth success. "any woman in trouble could come to the Krays, for protection" further promotes the image of them as tough but caring for other women. The "sisters" go on to namedrop big names from that era, Germaine Greer, Brigitte Bardot, Twiggy, Lulu, Dusty Springfield, Yoko Ono, Shirley Bassey, Barbara Windsor, Sandy Shaw, Diana Dors. Germaine Greer stands out as a feminist writer among the singers and actresses, ...read more.

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