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Duffy said of this collection "It's meant to be funny, but also has a darker side." How far do you agree with this assessment of 'The World's Wife"?

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Introduction

Duffy said of this collection "It's meant to be funny, but also has a darker side." How far do you agree with this assessment of 'The World's Wife"? Duffy's poetry, while being humorous, probes the darker aspects of today's society in great depth. The majority of her poems make cutting social observations while also succeeding in making the reader laugh. This ability is most obviously shown in the poem "Queen Kong". The humour in this poem is provided by the surreal situations Queen Kong finds herself in. The urban sophistication of New York is a sharp contrast to those a Gorilla would be used to, but she seems to adapt as if she were human. "Next day, I shopped. Clothes for my man, mainly, But one or two treats for myself from Bloomingdale's." ...read more.

Middle

"And after that, I decided to get him back." We are not sure if the Gorilla plans revenge on her human lover, or if she wants to rekindle their relationship. This presents further problems for the reader, as most people would assume Queen Kong plans him harm. Although Queen Kong does have a slightly dark undertone, it is mainly presented as a comical poem. This is a contrast to the poem "Little Red Cap", which is related to the loss of innocence. Whereas 'Queen Kong' provides a great deal of humour with the surreal situations, this is not the case in "Little Red Cap". In "Little Red Cap" the situations are not presented in a comical light, and rather they put emphasis on the loss of innocence. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is to show the struggle women face to thrive in a male-dominated world, where men often do not give women a chance. Lastly, a poem that is an example of Duffy being humorous and nothing else is "Mrs Darwin". Duffy cleverly uses Darwin's theory of evolution to light-heartedly make fun of him through the words of Mrs Darwin. "Something about that Chimpanzee over there reminds me of you" This shows that Mrs Darwin doesn't take her husbands work seriously, and is quick to make fun of him. Overall, "The World's Wife" succeeds at being very witty, and at the same time able to explore some of the darker issues of today's society. This blend makes her poems very deep with hidden meanings, which are far from obvious to detect. The comedy element serves to heighten the shock and controversy of some of her darker poems, such as "Little Red Cap" as it provides such a stark contrast. ...read more.

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