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Why does Carol Ann Duffy put Little Red Cap at the beginning of the collection and Demeter at the end? How effective do you think they are as first and last poems?

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Introduction

Why does Carol Ann Duffy put Little Red Cap at the beginning of the collection and Demeter at the end? How effective do you think they are as first and last poems? In Carol Ann Duffy's collection of poems, "The Worlds Wife" the first and last poems are vital to the collection. The opening poem must successfully introduce the themes and style of poems in the collection and the final poem should conclude the collection. Little Red Cap successfully introduces themes that are present throughout the collection. Sexuality is a theme that is present in most of the poems and Little Red Cap is no exception. Duffy writes "which flew, straight, from my hands to his open mouth", this is a metaphor for Little Red Cap's virginity this introduces the reader to the theme of sexuality but much more subtly than the majority of other poems. Duffy may be subtler in Little Red Cap purposefully in order to make her following poems transgressive to the reader. ...read more.

Middle

image which Duffy chooses to introduce to the reader immediately to grab attention and this does effectively introduce the symbol of blood that runs throughout. In terms of style Little Red Cap introduces the reader to Duffy's style used in the collection. Little Red Cap is full of sentence fragments, which is typical of Duffy's style of poetry. For instance " I stitched him up." And "Poetry." These short sentences emphasize and stress important parts of the poem. This is common in most of the poems in the collection therefore Little Red Cap successfully introduces the reader to this style of fragmented writing. The poem consists of roughly six stanzas. Each stanza contains six lines this coincides with some of the other poems. This is a fairly regular structure employed by Duffy, although there are in the middle section of the poem irregularities, which shows confusion or quickens the pace of the poem. This technique is used in "The Devil's Wife" also. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is extremely effective. Demeter links to Little Red Cap in an explicit way. The last line of Little Red Cap is "out of the forest I come, with my flowers singing, all alone" and Duffy writes in Demeter "across the fields, in bare feet, bringing all spring's flowers" these two lines are obviously very similar and may explain their positions in the collection. The tone of the two similar lines are severely different, Demeter is more calm and collected whereas Little Red Cap appears more bitter and sinister. This change in tone could well indicate the change of tone in terms of over the whole collection therefore Demeter does conclude the collection effectively showing the change in tone and character experienced by the reader. To conclude I feel the positioning of Demeter and Little Red Cap was effective in introducing themes and style to the reader and concludes the collection effectively. Although Demeter can be seen as completely in contrast to the other poems but I feel this works to Duffy's advantage in ending the collection on a calm note leaving the reader to reflect on the collection as a whole. Andrew Catherall. ...read more.

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