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GCSE: Carol Ann Duffy

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  1. Poems by Carol Ann Duffy.

    In Valentine Carol Ann Duffy describes the feelings of the woman to her lover. Valentine When you think of Valentine you think of happiness love, sweet joy, anything that is good related with love. Giving the impression that the poem is going to be about loves happiness etc. We are still given this impression even when the poem starts 'Not a red rose or a satin heart' This tells us that someone has thought hard about the Valentine message she is going to give, rather than traditional presents. This person in the poem is making us wait before she tells us what she has bought her lover, making the reader curious about her.

    • Word count: 2572
  2. Discuss how Carol Duffy and Simon Armitage write about violence in "Education for Leisure" and "The Hitcher".

    This is very clever by Duffy because involving you the reader creates a good effect. It scares you as you could turn around and there could be the killer. It would be especially scary if the reader were sitting alone at night. Another thing, which the Duffy does well, is to write the poem in first person. She changes from thought to thought so you can get into the speaker's head and see why he wants to kill, what are his reasons etc.

    • Word count: 1309
  3. A poem which I've been studying that tells the story of a character is "Stealing" by Carol Ann Duffy. The poem is about the actions and motives of a certain thief.

    Due to his general hate for the world and society he has pent up anger and aggression. "I took a run and booted him. Again. Again." He can become violent, for what seems, no reason. This shows he is dangerously unpredictable and is capable of destroying something he previously valued. Also through the poet's language we get the feeling that the character is a habitual thief. "gloved hand" "most unusual thing I ever stole?" By saying the thief covered his tracks by using gloves, it suggests that he is experienced enough to not make mistakes. Also from the opening question, we get the impression that he has committed the same crime more than once.

    • Word count: 1497
  4. Carol Ann Duffy explores different types of relationships in 'Valentine' and 'Before you were mine

    'It promises light, like the careful undressing of love.' She uses alliteration to create a smooth sound. She continues with the metaphor 'it will blind you with tears'. The onion makes your eyes water, but at the same time the pain caused by a loved one has the same effect. She explains that she does not wish to be unkind. She is being realistic. 'I'm trying to be truthful.' She uses alliteration; the repetition of the 't' sound gives it the feeling of sincerity. 'Not a cute card or a kiss-o-gram' She does not approve of commercial tokens of love.

    • Word count: 1363
  5. A Critical Analysis of Stealing by Carol Ann Duffy

    I think this is very possible as the thief makes it clear that he/she is unhappy with life by making remarks such as 'life's tough' and 'sick of the world'. He/she also tries to reassemble the snowman in his/her yard, to me it seems the thief is doing this to try and make it (the snowman/ the happiness) his own and is angered when someone else's snowman/happiness can mean nothing to him/her. Maybe because he/she finds life so 'tough' he/she may just want to take it out on someone and make them suffer like he/she is.

    • Word count: 1237
  6. 'My Grandmother'

    The antiques themselves create an oppressive atmosphere - they are 'faded' and 'heavy' in this stanza, and in the final stanza the 'tall/ Sideboards and cupboards' in the 'long, narrow room' take on the air of coffins. Even the sounds of the words the speaker uses contribute - the sibilants in 'the brass/ Salvers and silver bowls' are unwelcoming to the reader, and perhaps betray her disapproving attitude to the shop. But to the grandmother the antiques have great importance.

    • Word count: 1111
  7. 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
  8. Comparison Between 'Before You Were Mine' And 'Stealing'

    She then describes all the things, which her mother has done and, maybe, she would have liked to have seen. This poem could be described as both narrative and Autobiographical, but I think it is mainly narrative. In the first stanza Duffy starts with the word, "I'm". This could mean that it is autobiographical. But then she describes her mother as a teenager and this is narrative. I also think that the main theme or idea of this poem is one of 'good times' in the 'past'.

    • Word count: 1293
  9. Duffy's Style

    The poem is written in the first person and addresses the lover in the second person by using 'you'. The whole poem is centred on an onion and love. Duffy compares an onion to love. She makes the reader aware that both love and onions share the same characteristics, for example love can make you cry (if your lover has betrayed or upset you) and an onion can also make you cry (when cutting it). The beginning of each half of the poem is started with what has not been given is written. For example: 'Not a red rose or a satin heart'.

    • Word count: 5483
  10. We have been instructed to compare two different poems both written by the same author. The two poems I have decided to compare are 'Stealing' and 'In Miss Tilscher's class.'

    The poet chooses not to rhyme the poem but to use alliteration and assonance instead. For instance, in the first stanza it quotes '...Midnight. He looked magnificent; A tall, white mute beneath the winter moon. I wanted him, a mate...' The repeating of the letter M and W with the sound of 'I' is quite frequent. Assonance and alliteration are very cleverly constructed to make a repeated textured pattern, so when these words are spoken, they roll off of the tip of your tongue portraying a cold, silent, lonely noise. This giving the effect that no one is around, just the thief.

    • Word count: 2250
  11. "My Grandmother" by Elizabeth Jennings and "In Mrs Tilcher's Class" by Carol Anne Duffy

    for and kept her like an antique: "She kept an antique shop-or it kept her" So again this gives an old, frail look to her outlived and past her sell-by date. Jenning's describes the atmosphere and area around her very well using different uses of language and gives a clear and detailed picture and is able to transport you there. Not only is the poem about her Grandmothers obsession but also is about a particular experience. This is one she has kept on her mind since she refused to go out with her Grandmother she explains her feelings of no grief but guilt but straight forwardly and clear.

    • Word count: 2215
  12. 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
  13. Compare 3 poems by Carol Ann Duffy in which she shows us that things are not always as expected

    that I have chosen to write about in this essay. 'Valentine' opens on a pessimistic note, whereas 'Before you were mine' and 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class' both start off on a light and happy tone. - Instead we are presented with 'an onion'. She uses this symbol as an extended metaphor (an extended metaphor is also used in 'In Mrs Tilscher's class') to talk about a lover. This is the opposite of what other poet's would do. They would talk about a lover using symbols, not the other way around.

    • Word count: 4339
  14. War Photographer’, ‘Valentine’ and ‘Before You Were Mine’ by Carol Anne Duffy

    Carol Ann Duffy is very clever with the words she uses and how they are used, she uses alliteration a couple of times in her poems to emphasise a number of things, for example 'with spools of suffering set out in ordered rows', the alliteration in this sentence emphasises the number of rows. The first line of the poem reads, 'In his darkroom he is finally alone' Carol has chosen the word 'finally' in that sentence simply showing that the war photographer has been waiting to be alone and a sense of relief is given when it is read.

    • Word count: 1393
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. Explore the ways in which James Joyce illustrates the character and behaviour or Mr Duffy, in his story, ‘A Painful Case’.

    The story ends with: "He thought he was alone". Joyce uses a lot of imagery in illustrating the character and behaviour of Mr Duffy. The characteristics of his rented room represent much of his character, and indeed, some of the main themes of the story: these being desired elitism and consequent loneliness. His "uncarpeted room" has "lofty walls". This would give the impression of a grand, wide open space, which, being uncarpeted, may possibly be prone to echoing, emphasising the idea of emptiness. The fact that the room is "free from pictures", again, illustrates an empty and lonely atmosphere.

    • Word count: 1159
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. In Mrs Tilscher’s class and Valentine

    She adds a note of caution - too much commitment could kill off their relationship (love can be lethal). Language Mrs Tilscher's class She preferred school to home because of the magic of 'enthralling books , sugar paper and coloured shapes' which helped her to forget her fears of Brady and Hindley (the Moors Murderers who killed a number of children in the 1960s). This is mentioned in lines 9, 11 and 12. She describes details of other lessons and playtimes, especially one day when a rough boy told her the facts of life. stanza 2 lines 21-23. At the end of the school year, when asked about how you where born, Mrs Tilscher didn't let on, but there is a sense of growing excitement with the coming thunderstorm.

    • Word count: 1074
  22. Discuss how ‘A Woman’s Question’ by Adelaide Anne Procter and ‘Valentine’ by Carol Anne Duffy explore how women of different periods view their relationships

    This shows that she has a modern view of love. Although the theme of 'A Woman's Question' is not actually romantic, as Procter spends most of it talking to him about her insecurities, the language she uses in it is quite romantic and 'flowery'. She calls her partner 'her Fate' and is dedicating her entire future to him. Nowadays, although people do marry with the general idea that they will be staying together forever, they may be less inclined to think that their entire fate depended on the other person.

    • Word count: 1629
  23. 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
  24. In Mrs. Tilschers Class by Carol Ann Duffy is a poem in which she explores the themes of childhood and the transition to adulthood.

    It represents the unpleasant transformation. She personifies the sky and the air as well which is ?feverish? and ?untidy?, indicative of the unrest and turbulence of growing to adolescence. Another noteworthy feature she uses in her language is the caesuras and enjambment. In the first line, for instance, she says ?You can travel up the Blue Nile?, and in the next line, ?with your finger?. The pause adds and element of awe in travelling the Nile. This is abruptly let down by the disclosure that it is simply on a map in a classroom.

    • Word count: 1250
  25. 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

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