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Explore the ways which Carol Ann Duffy portrays the thief in 'Stealing'

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Question 1: Explore the ways in which Carol Ann portrays the behaviour of the thief in this poem. By Zhong Huang The thief in Carol Ann Duffy?s poem ?stealing? talks about the most unusual item he has ever stole ? a snowman. The futility of the persona?s ruthless actions is portrayed by Duffy in the poem, which also suggests the causes of this behavior to be a childhood deprived of arts and joy. The ruthlessness of the thief?s mind is vividly portrayed by Duffy. The persona thinks of himself as relentless and cold-hearted ? ?my mind as cold as a slice of ice.? The internal rhyme here imitates what is going on internally in the man?s mind. He is self-aware of his coldness, shown in this case by the imagery of ?ice?, and is proud of it. ...read more.


I joy-ride cars to nowhere, break into houses just to have a look.? It is understandable if someone steals out of necessity; however in this case his behavior serves no purpose other than to entertain himself. He focuses on the ?thrills? and ?joy-rides? of the thefts, but strangely, not the items. The voice seems to watch over himself at times ? ?I watch my gloved hand twisting the doorknob.? ?I watch? implies a movie-like experience, further reinforcing how he ?watches? his thefts for the thrill of it. When he is stealing the snowman is ?hugged to his chest, fierce chill pierc(es) (his) gut.? Here Duffy uses the sibilance of the ?st? ?ce? ?ch? and ?es? to convey the excitement of stealing a snowman. The thief often leaves a mark of his presence. ...read more.


The thief comes to a violent realization after his failed reassembly of the snowman, emphasized by the language duff uses: he ?boots? it while his breath ?ripped out in rags?. The realization is that he can never relive the past and gain happiness from imaginary mates. The reader sympathizes with the sadness of him ?standing alone among lumps of snow, sick of the world.? The clues that he steals a ?bust of Shakespeare? and tries to learn how to play a ?guitar? reveals to us that the thief is actually a cultural person deep inside. It?s just that he was starved of these things when he was young which turned him onto this cold, calculating personality .The result is the thief having nowhere to go, ?so bored (he) could eat himself?, left alone with nothing to do. The persona is portrayed by Duffy as behaving ruthlessly, trying but failing to grasp at something which is already long gone. ...read more.

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