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Discuss how Carol Duffy and Simon Armitage write about violence in "Education for Leisure" and "The Hitcher".

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Introduction

Discuss how Carol Duffy and Simon Armitage write about violence in "Education for Leisure" and "The Hitcher" The first poem written by Carol Ann Duffy appears to be about a troubled young person who kills things to take his anger out on. One thing Duffy does very well is to write her first and last sentences carefully. These relate to violence very well. The first sentence "Today I am going to kill something", this is a very strong start and very different. Usually the first sentences of poems are happy and then they might gradually turn into something bad, but Duffy uses a high impact sentence which appeals strongly to your feelings, making you feel surprised or shocked. This means the reader will want to carry on to see why would the person would want to kill. The last sentence, well three or four sentences builds up to the speaker going to get a bread knife. The speaker says "The pavements glitter suddenly. I touch your arm". These sentences are also very violent and also have a big impact like the first sentence. The speaker in the poem is boiling up inside then getting the knife and touching YOUR arm, which involves the reader. ...read more.

Middle

Such words as panicking, in this poem meaning a fear of death and this mood rubs off on us, which means Duffy has succeeded in creating a strong feeling. The panicking shows that the budgie similar to the cat can sense something sinister about the character. But unlike the cat the budgie can't escape because it is in a cage so is therefore panicking. The word makes you feel sorry for the budgie as it is defenceless and can't escape. Also another word kill is used in the first line. It is a very strong evil word. It shows the person has lack of control and is very insecure therefore also rubbing off onto the reader. The second poem "Hitcher" written by Simon Armitage is also about a troubled person, this time being a bit older than the person in "Education for Leisure" who is a bit annoyed with life and also wants to take his anger out on something. This person is also a bit sick in the head and doesn't feel guilty of doing wrong. Like Carol Duffy in "Education for Leisure" Simon Armitage uses the technique of writing in first person and colloquial speaking. ...read more.

Conclusion

The speaker in "Hitter" has nothing against the hippie but he his very jealous of the way he has no responsibilities and is free. The opening sentences are very different in this poem compare to "Education for Leisure". In "Education for Leisure" they are very big impact using big words with the speaker on the edge and involving you whereas in Hitcher the opening and finishing scenes are much more relaxed. I think inside the speaker was much worse then he was on the outside, because he expressed his emotions differently than the speaker in the previous poem. Between the two poems Duffy and Armitage have written about violence to show that people often have been mistreated before they turn to violence and have reasons. But that is no excuse to turn to violence, there is no need for it not even if it will make you feel better. The effect the two poems had on me was brilliant, at first they were confusing but once I had read them a few times a fully understood what they thought about violence. The poems have a big impact on you and put things into perspective that you are very lucky and don't have to resolve to violence to make you feel better. ...read more.

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