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Compare the ways parent/child relationships are represented in Before You Were Mine by Carol Ann Duffy and three other poems, one by Simon Armitage and any two from the Pre-1914 Poetry Bank.

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  • Essay length: 894 words
  • Submitted: 28/01/2008
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GCSE Pre and Post 1914 Comparison

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Sample Essay - Parent/Child Relationship

Compare the ways parent/child relationships are represented in 'Before You Were Mine' by Carol Ann Duffy and three other poems, one by Simon Armitage and any two from the Pre-1914 Poetry Bank.

The relationship between a parent and a child can bring about any of a range of emotions. In 'The Affliction of Margaret', we see a parent's desperation at not hearing from her missing son in seven years, while in 'On my first Sonne', the poet bids farewell to his dead son. In 'Before You Were Mine', the poet describes the effect her own birth had on the lifestyle of her mother, whereas 'My father thought it bloody queer' describes a strained relationship between father and son.

The differing structures of the poems affect their impact. Wordsworth's structure for 'The Affliction of Margaret' consists of eleven verses of seven lines each, one for each year her son has been missing. Each verse shows a different aspect of Margaret's desperation to hear from her child, e.g. in the first verse she appeals for him to "find me, prosperous or undone!"; in the second verse she recalls the doomed glimpses of hope

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