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The Cockroach by Kevin Halligan

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  • Essay length: 894 words
  • Submitted: 03/11/2008
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AS and A Level Miscellaneous

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'The Cockroach' by Kevin Halligan is a poem about reflection on life through watching the movement of a cockroach. Through the use of structure, detailed description of cockroach as an extended metaphor of the persona, the theme of confusion and realization of life is well conveyed.

Halligan describes a frantic movement of the cockroach throughout the poem. The title foreshadows and reveals that the poem is about a small and trifle insect- a cockroach. However, the poem opens with the exaggeration of it 'a giant cockroach'. This highlights that he is observing it very closely feeling as if it is a 'giant'. The word 'giant' also conveys that it is not only an insect but also a device to reflect on life giving it great importance with the repetition of word 'cockroach' in the title and first line. The movement of the cockroach is closely described. The detailed description draws an image of the cockroach in the readers' minds and this allows them to engage in the poem. It 'pace' 'skirting' 'jog' 'circle' 'flip' 'climb' signifying that the persona is watching the cockroach as if it is a human being not a trifle insect in an objective view.

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