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GCSE: Carol Ann Duffy

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  1. In my essay, I have decided to compare two of Carol Ann Duffy's poems, Valentine and Stealing.

    Onions also make your eyes water "It will blind you with tears like a lover" like how a relationship can cause you a lot of pain sometimes, enough to make you cry. Raw onions can leave a strong taste on your lips " its fierce kiss will stay on your lips, possessive and faithful" meaning that the taste of the onion stays on your lips for a long time, like how the relationship will last for a long time. Onions are made up of rings "It's platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring" meaning a wedding ring a sign of love and commitment.

    • Word count: 754
  2. Compare and contrast ‘My Box’ and ‘Valentine’. Explore the poets’ feelings about love. To conclude, say which you prefer and why.

    As the moon is associated with mystery it may be referring to a mysterious relationship or a mysterious lover. Another example of effective imagery in this poem is 'It will make your reflection a wobbling photo of grief' which could mean, that because onions make your eyes water every thing will be distorted. Metaphorically this means that the future of a relationship is never clear, you never know what is just around the corner. All of these images near the beginning of the poem are positive but they get more and more negative throughout the poem until 'Its scent will cling to your fingers, cling to your knife'.

    • Word count: 844
  3. Duffy explores different kinds of relationships in ‘Valentine’ and ‘Before you were mine’. How does she reveal her thoughts and feelings about these relationships to the reader?

    A kiss doesn't actually stay on your lips, but the memory of a first kiss with a person that you love can stay in your mind forever, it is something you may never forget. This is all use of an extended metaphor - the onion. In 'Before You Were Mine', the love that is discussed is different - the love between a mother and her daughter - parental love. Duffy explains how she has always admired her mother. She does this by using snapshots of her mother's past to make the reader conjure up an image in their head 'I'm

    • Word count: 660
  4. Analysis of "Stealing" and "War Photographer" by Carol Anne Duffy

    This indicates he has no friends nor family because nobody would steal a snowman unless they are mentally disturbed where as in this case that could be the answer. Whereas in the second poem, "War Photographer", Duffy describes the actions of the character. Because in this poem the war photographer is wanted by everyone for his pictures so people will know what is going on in the world and also the agony of pain in the photo's Carol shows this by saying "In his darkroom he is finally alone with spools of suffering set out in ordered rows".

    • Word count: 686
  5. Explain how Ann Duffy uses Metaphors in at least 2 of her poems and comment on their effectiveness.

    It could also mean that there is a level of mystery, possibly deceit when a relationship begins. What you see is the dark paper, but that is not what you ultimately get, i.e. the moon. It could also indicate that she feels that the image of the onion as 'a moon wrapped in dark paper' shows that a relationship unfolds, different aspects of a person are revealed, leading back to the idea of what you may see initially is not what you will get ultimately.

    • Word count: 646
  6. Carol Ann Duffy

    She also mentions the strong scent and taste of the onion when she says, "Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips." Using the word 'kiss' compares it to love. She describes it as 'possessive and faithful', just as love is. In the last stanza, she says, "It's platinum loops will shrink to a wedding-ring." This is comparing the inner rings of an onion to a wedding ring; it is a suggestion of marriage. The final three lines are very strong and harsh.

    • Word count: 949
  7. The poem, Valentine, is a monologue by Carol Ann Duffy addressed to her lover.

    The use of enjambment builds up a sense of expectation and uncertainty in the reader before delivering the surprising confession that love has a painful side. The language of the poem is quite straightforward and unequivocal but also expresses profound meaning. The title ?Valentine? has connotations of love and joy. It is associated with the customary traditions of mawkish gifts given to one?s significant other. The focus of the poem is belittling these gestures and instead revealing the truth about love.

    • Word count: 990
  8. The poem The Dolphins by Carol Ann Duffy is a monologue written from the perspective of a dolphin

    It also, however, implies the distinction between ?swim? and ?dance?. The word ?swim? could mean just staying afloat- bare survival. Whereas the word dance has connotations of joy and pleasure. The phrase ?we are not free? shows that the dolphins are trapped and are swimming, not dancing. The phrase ?we are in our element but we are not free? creates a paradox between being in one?s ?element?, which is usually considered a place where one is comfortable but also implies the physical element of water, and yet being constrained.

    • Word count: 667
  9. Carol Ann Duffys Anne Hathaway explains the feelings of Shakespeares widow as she contemplates her marriage. Write a monologue in which Anne Shakespeare considers her thoughts about her husband and love.

    You are that wonderful woman around whom I want to weave my dreams and desires and dress you with my kisses. I will show you how a look can hold galaxies and a heart can feel everything and maybe we can discover together how far God went when he created a human being in the image and likeness.? [She folds the paper and puts it in her bag, then looking up at the sky, she talks to herself.] Before you Will, my life was like a moonless light.

    • Word count: 632
  10. How are disturbed characters present in 'Salome' and 'Havisham'?

    Both characters show signs of being extremely disturbed personalities. From the first stanza we begin to get an idea of Salome?s character. She proves herself to be very promiscuous, ? I?d done it before (and doubtless I?ll do it again sooner or later) woke up with a head on the pillow beside me-whose?? Salome shows she is licentious by confessing it?s not the first stranger she has bedded (we presume that ?head on the pillow is a euphemism). She mentions how she?d done it many times before and that the likelihood is she?ll do it again; she shows little to no signs of remorse.

    • Word count: 892
  11. Explore the ways which Carol Ann Duffy portrays the thief in 'Stealing'

    However, there are also many references to coldness in the rest of the poem ? ?winter? ?frozen? ?chill?. The thief behavior is shown to be selfish and cocky ? ?part of the thrill was knowing that children could cry in the morning. Life?s tough.? This line further emphasizes the ruthless quality of his mind. The fact that making children cry would be a ?thrill? is disturbing for the reader. His cockiness comes out in ?life?s tough? ? the statement would be said in a not caring way, as if he has seen it all and is merely stating the obvious.

    • Word count: 746

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