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GCSE: Carol Ann Duffy

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  1. Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy is a poem which creates a contradiction by contrasting the romantic poem style of the title,

    Although she is romanticising the onion, she makes it an everyday item again when she states that it's 'wrapped in brown paper.' She goes onto mentioning another image associated with romantic love - that of promises, 'It promises light.' Duffy is suggesting that although the moon promises light, it doesn't always deliver. By doing this Duffy appears to be warning of trusting too much in the promises of romantic partners. Duffy uses the phrase 'The careful undressing of love' as it reveals a person's true character and motives under the superficial veneer of romantic vows.

    • Word count: 985
  2. How do the writers explore and present the themes of conscience, violence and murder in the poems The Man He Killed by Thomas Hardy and Salome by Carol Ann Duffy?

    It also talks about other people who are just idle "and there day goes over in idleness, and they sigh if the wind but lift a trees". Charlotte O'Neil's Song is about some one who does all the cleaning and cooking and then gets fed up of it and doesn't do it any more. "You lay on a silken pillow. I lay on an attic cot. That's the way it should be, you said. That's the poor girl's lot.

    • Word count: 468
  3. "Valentine" by Carol Ann Duffy is an unusual but very meaningful love poem which goes into detail about what love is really about.

    Duffy uses both positive and negative statements to show the way she feels about love. In this poem she uses an onion to explain love, going from the idea that it's really romantic, to how it's lethal. In this poem I will explain in detail the writer's feelings about love....... The poem starts off with a positive statement, which shows the reader how she is against clich�s of love and little silly gifts. She then uses an onion to symbolize love.

    • Word count: 484
  4. Analysis of War Photographer

    The title itself carries the theme of the whole poem and its indirect manner. In this poem an anonymous photographer, tries to capture the readers' attention into the theme of death and war. Throughout the poem, the comparisons exhibit to us the clear differences, and similarities in the subjects in this theme. The poem explores the way some humans care too little for others who are blasted away everyday. These ideas and others are portrayed through the photographer and his job. The first six lines of the poem show the photographer's own ideas .It also portrays the poet's own ideas and how he sees this theme, and this job of photography.

    • Word count: 638
  5. Education for Leisure

    This is reinforced throughout the poem through the repetition of 'I' which continuously reminds the reader of the enigmatic nature of the persona, conveying the main theme of isolation. Duffy also employs biblical references to emphasise the deluded nature of the character: 'I am going to play God'. Again, the repetition of 'I' in this line reinforces the deluded and self-absorbed nature of the persona. These biblical references are enforced later in the poem and almost act as a leitmotif: 'I see that it is good'.

    • Word count: 746
  6. War Photographer, Duffy - Literary Criticism

    In the third verse, 'a stranger's features faintly start to twist before his eyes, a half-formed ghost'. When the reader reads this line he can see in his mind a swirling image of a human moulding into shape. There is also a metaphor at the very end of the first verse. 'All flesh is grass'. This is an idea that occurs several times in the Bible. The exact phrase is found in Isaiah 40:6. The poem's structure hardly varies at all in the poem, all fours verses are six lines long and each line is of similar length.

    • Word count: 666
  7. Essai on thoughs

    He obviously means that there are three states in life including being completely free to do what we aim to, being unable to make our own choice or remaining an empty body without consciousness that is to say awareness of what you are. On top of that, "World! why do you hound me?" conveys a moral opinion on the ephemeral ("soon gone, the daily loot of Time") and superficial, material sides of life ("Beauty, Money, Luxury, Wealth, Pretty Face, forged crown, vanities")

    • Word count: 703
  8. How does Carol Ann Duffy reveal her thoughts and feelings through metaphor? Refer to at least two poems in your answer.

    The ability of onions to produce tears allows Duffy to explore the more painful side of a loving relationship. The onion will cause tears and "make your reflection a wobbling photo of grief". The idea of a deserted lover looking at his or her reflection in the mirror creates a vivid image of the end of an affair. The smell and taste of the onion becomes a "fierce kiss" that will stay on the lover's lips and the silvery white rings of the onion remind Duffy of a platinum wedding ring.

    • Word count: 845
  9. English Essay - Poems

    The weather mentioned in 'Porphyria's Lover' is also used to set a bad mood for the rest of the poem which eventually in the end does actually end in death. To counter act the disappointment of the weather outside he warms up the cottage then by describing such comforts as the fireplace and other household things he describes that fire place in detail with the vibrant colours and the warmth being emitted from it, he claims the environment is 'cosy'.

    • Word count: 928
  10. Compare How Sadistic Personalities Are Presented in Havisham, Education For Leisure And Hitcher

    Duffy uses a fairly regular rhythm with a range of 9 to 12 syllables to reflect her determination to get revenge. In contrast to this, the poem is written in quatrains, however the second and third stanzas do not end with full stops so are not strictly quatrains. The slight imperfection of this format is reflected in the content. The woman's emotional instability is shown to the reader through Duffy's use of onomatopoeia. In using the word 'cawing' the narrator dehumanises herself perhaps to reflect that she feels inhuman because of what this man has done to her.

    • Word count: 829
  11. Write about a treasured possession that you own and describe why it is meaningful to you. In the palm of my hands lays my most treasured possession; a gold chain. Its heavy weight is easily

    The chain was given to me by my grandmother just days before she passed away due to lung cancer. The chain was originally bought by my great grandmother during the first World War. In the early twenty-first century a possession such as this would have been worth a fortune and more. You would expect the chain to have been sold for a fortune but it was something that was always going to be special and it would have been a let down if it were sold. My great grandmother gave it to my grandmother, just days before she passed away.

    • Word count: 699
  12. How does Carol Duffy create thecharacter 'Mrs Midas'?

    In 'Mrs Midas' Carol Ann Duffy uses the same affects but this time her key characters are of both sexes, i.e. a man and a woman. This poem unlike the other poems is a lighter introduced in to what is happening. In the first stanza, she goes about setting the scene of the poem and the time of year in-which the poem is happening. The character in this stanza is unaware and clueless of the events going to take place.

    • Word count: 949
  13. The two Duffy poems I have chosen to compare the way she presents the speaker's relationship with the person she is speaking to are 'Havisham' and 'Elvis' Twin Sister'. 'Havisham' is in a form of a monologue.

    She states 'beloved sweetheart bastard' which is an oxymoron meaning an apparent contradiction for example loving hate. She uses words to describe her bitter and angry tone such as 'bastard', 'strangle', 'Nooooo' and also 'bang'. Duffy has used these words to make the readers aware of the anger that is going through this character. Duffy gives us an impression that the character does not like how she looks as she describes herself as a 'spinster' which is a female version of a bachelor. However if one calls a women a spinster it is in derogatory term meaning it is very offensive. She also states 'ropes on the back of my hands I could strangle with'.

    • Word count: 700
  14. During this essay I will be exploring and comparing two of Carol Ann Duffy's poems, "Education for Leisure" and "Stealing

    The character in the poem Education for Leisure is very egocentric, "I breathe out talent on the glass to write my name" this shows that he really believes that even the air he exhales is important enough to be classed as talent and he writes his name on it as if it was an autograph. He also says "I could be anything at all, with half a chance."

    • Word count: 463
  15. 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"?

    "Next day, I shopped. Clothes for my man, mainly, But one or two treats for myself from Bloomingdale's." The idea of a giant Gorilla in Bloomingdale's is obviously ridiculous, but Duffy presents it in a very flippant manner, almost as if it were an everyday occurrence. Another source of comedy within the poem is the way Duffy manages to invert the pet-owner relationship. Queen Kong appears to be in control of her human lover, despite her being an animal. Once again the surrealism of this idea creates a very comical situation for the reader. The comical overtones of the poem serve to mask the darker, and more grounded undertones.

    • Word count: 713
  16. Critical Analysis of

    A hundred agonies in black-and-white From which his editor will pick out five or six for Sunday's supplement. The reader's eyeballs prick with tears between the bath and pre-lunch beers. From the aeroplane he stares impassively where he earns his living and they do not care. Carol Ann Duffy was born in Glasgow in 1955. She grew up in Staffordshire and went to university in Liverpool. Having spent some time in London as a freelance writer, she now lives in Manchester. She has won many prizes and several awards for her poetry. Her poems, she says, 'come from my everyday experience, my past/memory and my imagination.

    • Word count: 923
  17. What is the main theme of the two poems by Carol Ann Duffy?

    All examples show that the character is tired of this world where he is alone and unhappy. But he gives himself what satisfaction he can by taking (stealing) the happiness of others. Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy as a poem, has similarities but also differences to Stealing. Instead of taking away another's joy, the character in Valentine is giving joy. The character in Valentine is not selfish; the character gives more rather than receives (steal). "Its scent will cling to your finger cling to your knife." An everlasting gift, to be remembered forever, to "cling" to your memories.

    • Word count: 823
  18. Choose two poems of Carol Ann Duffy's poems you like best and write about them.

    The robber is isolated and alone " I wanted him as a mate". This shows he is alone, he has no friends or that there is no one to love him like a family member or a lover, this also has anti-social meaning. The only joy he gets out of ruining the snowman is he knows " children will cry in the morning, life's tough" I think that he is being sarcastic by saying "life's tough" I think he wants someone to understand the way he feels, because he has had a tough life and thinks it is unfair.

    • Word count: 785
  19. Compare how Attitudes to Life and People are Shown in "Stealing" and three other poems - two other pre 1914, and one Simon Armitage poem.

    The thief is talking as though it destroys for the sake of it, and Carol Ann Duffy uses a lot of hard sounding words such as 'booted', 'ripped' and 'rags' to add emphasis to the thief's feelings. Perhaps the most disturbing phrase in the poem is 'I could eat myself' which shows a sense of self destruction - possibly suicide. 'Education for Leisure' is also written by Carol Ann Duffy and like 'Stealing' it is a poem about loneliness and alienation.

    • Word count: 609
  20. What interests you about Carol Ann Duffy's use of an onion in her poem 'Valentine'?

    The poem is written in the first-person and the speaker addresses lover in second person ("you"). This makes the poem universal, and understandable to all, as sex of lover and beloved is not stated. I also find the structure and from very intriguing since there appears to be no clear argument, but a series of observations linked by their common theme. "Lethal." The poem is not written in proper sentence forms throughout but Carol Ann Duffy has used many disjointed phrases and even a single words to portray her message of love to the reader.

    • Word count: 497
  21. Comment on Duffy’s stealing.

    This poem is basically an informal and casual speech, in which the speaker communicates directly with the reader. As revealed from the last sentence, "You don't understand a word I'm saying, do you?", the speaker is addressing to the reader and requesting them to respond and be involved. Sometimes, we can even hear the real-life voice of the speaker through the use of onomatopoeia. For instance, "I sigh like this-Aah", which appeals to the reader's sense of hearing, making the sigh more impressive and forms9 a strong impression in the mind of the reader. The application of pauses, further demonstrates that the speaker is interacting with the reader, as in a speech, we will not be able to complete our speech in one breath, there must be pauses.

    • Word count: 745
  22. Valentine and I am very bothered are both on the subject of love. Both use a lot of effective imagery to focus attention on the main topic.

    This gives an impression that the poet is trying to excuse himself and his actions by describing the innocent and pure flame of the Bunsen burner, which he used to wound her. 'O the unrivalled stench of branded skin' gives an indication of the sense of enjoyment felt by the poet. Armitage uses sibilance in 'stench' and 'skin' to give an indication of the sinister basis of his sadistic pleasure. When he says 'stench of branded' the Armitage uses four syllables with the three words in an attempt to slow down the pace and extend the emphasis on the animalistic and violent words.

    • Word count: 706
  23. The Heartless Murderer.

    A flash flood of worries and concerns thunder across your mind, which is suddenly feeling particularly achey for this time in the evening. Usually your brain is still in automatic mode after you crept out of your snug bed, pulled on yesterday's already crumpled clothes, and slid down your perfectly shiny banisters, in a desperate attempt to cling onto your innocence which you briefly experienced as a child. But now, you decide to investigate further as all ability to be rational is overridden by an intense desire to Know.

    • Word count: 922
  24. Compare and contrast the way in which 'Stealing' and 'Education for leisure' show how human beings can react to being unhappy.

    She shows us not so much of an intelligent criminal but a person who turns to theft just because they are bored. Both criminals in 'Stealing' and 'Education for Leisure' are people who turned to crime due to their loneliness and boredom. The point of the 'Stealing' poem is to show what people do when they are isolated. They turn to crime because they do not know what is morally right or wrong. This is shown when it says on line 11, "Sometimes I steal things I don't need."

    • Word count: 755
  25. The poems'

    The word 'knife' is the keyword in this line, and Carol Ann Duffy has purposely chosen it because it is not usually linked with Valentine poems. The word is a strong contrast towards the beginning of the poem. We can link the word 'knife' as the last word in the poem, to the last word in the first line which is 'heart'. We can now more clearly see the contrast Duffy is trying to make. The whole poem "Valentine" is an extended metaphor concerning the onion.

    • Word count: 969

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • In "Little Red Cap" discuss the use ofimagery, syntax and structure.

    "In conclusion, Duffy has cleverly written this poem based on the fairytale little red riding hood, but there are many hidden meanings to various parts of the poem, for example touching on childhood innocence and teenage rebellion. There are also arguably different interpretations to what Duffy has written. Date Set: Thursday 9th Sept Teacher: Miss. Gruder Date Due In: Monday 20th Sept Ellie Frost - 12SP 1"

  • Compare and Contrast Havisham and Anne Hathaway by Carol Ann Duffy

    "The poet, in my opinion has had a love who she felt this strongly for. 'Havisham' is a poem full of rich imagery, the tale of a woman who remembers her husband in a wonderful, loving way with no hint of sorrow. It is beautiful to read and to dwell on the magical pictures that are painted within it."

  • The Poem Havisham creates images and feelings of death, anger and destruction. Discuss how Duffy communicates this to the reader.

    "I find this poem interesting and I enjoyed reading it, but there were parts, which I found slightly hard to understand. My immediate response to this poem would be... Miss Havisham needs to wake up and get over the fact that she was stood up, but after reading into this poem, I have started to understand why she feels so bad, and why her hate is as strong as it is. I think that Duffy has communicated well with the reader, and has passed across all the points which have been made in the poem. Ben Riley"

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