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A poem which I've been studying that tells the story of a character is "Stealing" by Carol Ann Duffy. The poem is about the actions and motives of a certain thief.

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Introduction

A poem which I've been studying that tells the story of a character is "Stealing" by Carol Ann Duffy. The poem is about the actions and motives of a certain thief. The character in the poem has a very negative personality and outlook on life. In the poem the thief comes across as cold, uncaring, egotistical, destructive and nasty. The poet portrays this by effective word choice when describing the thief's feelings and actions. "the slice of ice within my own brain" This shows that the thief has very cold thoughts and that in his mind he has suffered previous emotional damage, which has resulted in psychological problems for him. This is an important simile in showing how the thief has mental torment, which has affected his life. Another way in which the author shows to us the character's negativity is through his motives for stealing. "Part of the thrill was knowing that children would cry in the morning. Life's tough" He steals because he likes the thrill, the excitement of doing wrong or emotionally affecting others. By enjoying upsetting other people we get the impression that he is selfish and inconsiderate. Also that he wants to teach them a lesson, he wants them to hate life and to hurt the same way he does. Due to his general hate for the world and society he has pent up anger and aggression. ...read more.

Middle

It's his way of passing time, but it doesn't appear to make him happy. This boredom is quite significantly affecting him, to the point of causing himself harm. The thief's motives also reflect his attitude to life. He has no drive to relieve his boredom in another way, he has no desire to make his life more interesting or to make himself happy. He is afraid of socialising with others, so he shies away from active hobbies and further distances himself by stealing. He has no will to lead a meaningful life. The poet has very effectively brought this side of the character through, and it adds a lot of questions to the previous life the thief led and what had happened in the past that has caused him such damage. He also seeks revenge on society for the pain and disappointment he has experienced in his, what seems, miserable existence. "I'm a mucky ghost, leave a mess" He leaves a mess because he wants to cause inconvenience for others. He enjoys knowing that they will have to go to the trouble of cleaning up after him. He does things to people in name of revenge on society, as they have no benefits financially to him. "Sometimes I steal things I don't need" The thief is exacting his unsatisfactory revenge on society for pain he has felt. ...read more.

Conclusion

It's easier to understand how he feels and what he's been thought from the monologue because we are able to get a sense of character. The style of monologue captures our interest as the character has the ability to come to life and adopt a persona, as they tell things in their own words. Techniques used within the monologue that are effective are the use of minor sentences and enjambement. "I took a run and booted him. Again. Again" These techniques build up tension, power and the force of violence, they also provide extra emphasis on how the thief hates or of his pain. Another way the poet maintains my interest through the monologue is by the use of rhetorical questions and the informal tone and slang used. "The most unusual thing I ever stole?" "a mate" "daft" The use of rhetorical questions promotes a sense of conversation between the thief and another party. The informal tone and slang make the character seem more real as it imitates the pattern of speech and the thief comes to life. All of the techniques the poet has used from slang to writing it as a monologue have created an effective style of telling the story of a particular character, in this case, the thief. The styles used have all helped add to my enjoyment of the poem, and get a clear insight into the character's life. By Elaine Weir 301 Elaine Weir "Stealing" - Critical Essay page 1 Elaine Weir "Stealing" - Critical Essay page 1 ...read more.

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