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Compare the use of the absent presence in Havisham, My Last Duchess, Hitcher, and Kid.

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Introduction

Literature Poems: Section B Compare the use of the 'absent presence' in Havisham, My Last Duchess, Hitcher, and Kid. In Havisham, the speaker expresses feelings of love and hate towards the absent presence. "Beloved sweetheart bastard." Through this powerful oxymoron, we understand that even though he was her lover, he has caused her pain; therefore we see a confused persona who has the two extremes of love and hate instilled in her. Automatically, this oxymoron makes the reader think that the absent presence is evil, but rather than Havisham talking about what act he had committed towards her, she only talks of revenge. "...then down till I suddenly bite awake." Although she never reveals what he did, the revenge is more effective to the reader because they see her reaction towards him, and understand how much that action affected her. In Kid, the absent presence is also introduced as an enemy. "Batman, big shot..." It is almost as if in both poems the absent presence is being used so that the personas can plead their innocence; the personas never speak of any good actions the absent presence may have done. ...read more.

Middle

In Havisham, the structure of the poem is such that it is laid out in four equal length paragraphs. This could be to create the effect that the persona is reflecting on what she is saying, and it doesn't seem like a rant towards the absent presence; however she is fooling herself because the use of enjambment means it is read as one long paragraph. This mirrors the persona's own thoughts because she fools herself thinking that she will gain revenge and wishes for it, but never gets a result. "Prayed for it so hard I've dark green pebbles for eyes." The absent presence is almost killing her even though he is not there to cause pain. This connotes precisely how much pain Havisham is experiencing because she is deteriorating at the hands of haunting memories, and she is willing to go through much more just to cause him a small amount of suffering; the absent presence releases her desperation. In both My Last Duchess and Hitcher, the absent presences are presented as nature loving, free people. In My Last Duchess, the Duchess is said to have loved "The dropping of the daylight in the west." ...read more.

Conclusion

The Duke killed her as though she was his possession and because he felt he had been disrespected. Ironically, the poem is written in rhyming couplets presumably to make the death sound beautiful; but only adds a sadistic twist. One difference is that the Duke still felt betrayed and unhappy about the Duchess disrespecting him, but the persona in Hitcher had almost forgotten that he had just murdered someone. Both personas mock the death of their absent presence. In My Last Duchess, the Duke says, "Looking as if she were alive." He says this mockingly and with pride because he feels as though he had gotten his revenge, however she might still appear alive to him because of her vibrant soul that shines out of the painting. In Hitcher, the persona says, "He'd said he liked the breeze to run its fingers through his hair." The persona sounds like he is trying to justify his act, but he doesn't need to justify it to anyone because he gives the impression as thought he couldn't care less. The absent presences in My Last Duchess and Hitcher are the innocent ones. The ones in Kid and Havisham are the culprits. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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