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Which Poem do you feel is more effective in conveying the plight of the main character?

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Introduction

Which Poem do you feel is more effective in conveying the plight of the main character? I feel that the poem "Stealing" is more effective in conveying the plight of the main character. Carol Ann Duffy has written sympathetically about a misunderstood and anti-social character. The main themes of the poem are loneliness and confusion. Loneliness is mirrored by single word sentences, used frequently throughout the poem, whereas confusion is shown by the opening and closing lines of the poem being a question. Imagery is also frequently used throughout, which are used by Duffy to set the general mood of the poem - "Beneath the winter moon" - suggests that everything is desolate and gives the impression of coldness, relating to the loneliness of the main character in the poem. This coldness is also repeated as "The slice of ice within my own brain" whereby the sibilance suggests a slightly mysterious feel about the character. Many of the images are quite striking such as "A mucky ghost" which may also mirror the character's loneliness, and that he may feel like a ghost, invisible. ...read more.

Middle

He breaks in out of curiosity, "to have a look" but does not understand what he sees, which gives the impression that he is pathetic, by leaving "a mess" and steaming up mirrors. Perhaps he is envious of everyone around him - "alone among lumps of snow" - and is curious about the lives led by other people. For example; he casually mentions how he might "pinch a camera" - it is worth little to him, but much to those whose memories it has recorded. The majority of the language used it colloquial, however is very distinct. The opening question indicates the character is being interviewed, perhaps by a police officer, social worker or probation officer, however this fact is unknown. The ending stanza is also a question, which seems more honest - "You don't understand a word I'm saying do you." In my opinion, this is a perfect finale, the characters real motivation is revealed - boredom which has emerged from his feelings that he is inadequate, and perhaps he feels unable to make or do anything worthwhile. ...read more.

Conclusion

The description of him kicking the snowman, "My breath ripped out in rags" is very effective, since the line itself is ripped in two by enjambment. This mimics his jerky, flustered, breathing pattern as he goes about his destruction. The metaphor of rags, which are worthless objects, echoes both the worthlessness of the snowman itself in its newly-demolished state, and the worthlessness of the act. Towards the end of the poem, Duffy has portrayed the character in such a way that you do not think of him as a criminal, but as an anti-social, misunderstood individual, the reader is likely to feel sympathy for the character. Duffy herself is sympathising with the character, which sets the tone for the poem, She is trying to understand why anyone would want to commit a senseless crime. We see the speaker's pessimistic attitude: although they'd like their life to be glamorous, they are reduced to getting kicks from stealing a snowman and 'things I don't need'. The overall tone of the poem reflects like line "Better off dead than giving in" as that line stands out above many others, as it is blatant reflection of the characters feelings. He ...read more.

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