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A Comparison of Two Poems; "Stealing", by Carol Ann Duffy and "Hitcher", by Simon Armitage

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Introduction

A Comparison of Two Poems; "Stealing", by Carol Ann Duffy and "Hitcher", by Simon Armitage In this essay, I will be comparing two poems; Stealing, by Carol Ann Duffy and Hitcher, by Simon Armitage. I will be using several categories in which to structure my comparison, which include style of language and structure. In this piece, I hope to provide in depth analysis into the narrators feelings and the poets techniques. Finally I will be making a summary of my comments in a brief conclusion at the end, which will include my thoughts on both poems. The style of language in these poems have several similarities as well as differences. Firstly, in Stealing, Duffy has managed to fuse conversational English with typical poetic devices. The poem has been written in a colloquial style and shows use of slang, merged with metaphors and impressive techniques. For example; the narrator uses slang words and phrases such as "mate...pinch...nicked a bust" but can converse in a poetic style, using metaphors such as "my breath ripped out in rags". This contrast between the speech usually associated with members of the sub classes of society, and that found in the middle class is very effective. Consequently, Duffy gives the narrator a voice. ...read more.

Middle

"I let him have it...six times with the krooklok in the face". The Structure of both poems is in keeping with the style, and content they posses. Both poems have structures which reflect the general atmosphere they have. In Stealing, the structure is very irregular and complex. This reflects the feelings of the narrator. For example, Duffy uses enjambment to emphasise the conflict that the narrator feels inside. The structure of the poem is consistent with the anger that he feels. In the narrator's mind, not everything is nicely arranged, and this is mimicked in the structure. Enjambment is used in Hitcher for the same reason. Armitage wants to give the poem extra meaning by creating a structure that is based on the feelings of the narrator. The structure is unnatural, so are the emotions of the subject. The effect of sound in the poems helps to emphasise the narrators' thoughts. Many techniques are used by both poets within the poems, although I feel sound is more significant in Stealing. In Stealing, Duffy uses assonance to increase the emotion within the poem. For example "a mind as cold as the slice of ice within my own brain". This use of assonance emphasises the contrasting feelings of the narrator. ...read more.

Conclusion

This leads to him resorting to violence. The tone of the poem changes dramatically which represents the mood swings the narrator has. The first two paragraphs of the poem seem relatively calm, and although slightly irritated and feeling sorry for himself, the narrator is fine. Then, when he meets the hitcher, who appears to have nothing but freedom, yet is so happy, the narrator boils over and releases his rage. "I let him have it...one with the head, then six times with the krooklok in the face". These poems both involve people who have similar problems but deal with them in different ways. They are both angry and frustrated because they cannot get what they crave. In Hitcher, the narrator desires freedom - spiritual freedom, and in Stealing, the narrator wants to be accepted. In Stealing, the narrator can express his feelings on paper but not in reality. Similarly, in Hitcher the narrator can simply not control his emotions. The desire of both the narrators causes them to do things I am sure they didn't really want to do. Both Duffy and Armitage have created poetic masterpieces, full of emotion and desire. In their own style they have portrayed characters in ways that meant we had to analyse them to get to their true feelings. Both poems are full of hidden meaning, creating contrasting atmospheres and a mix of feelings. ...read more.

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