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How do Carol Anne Duffy in Havisham and Simon Armitage in Kid present different perspectives on the theme of betrayal?

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Introduction

How do Carol Anne Duffy in Havisham and Simon Armitage in Kid present different perspectives on the theme of betrayal? These two poems are written about very different subjects but they both explore the theme of betrayal. In the first poem ?Havisham?, the poet Carol Anne Duffy uses Mrs. Havisham, a fictional character from the well know novel ?Great Expectations? by Charles Dickens, as her extended metaphor for betrayal. In the second poem ?Kid? by Simon Armitage, the poet presents the theme of betrayal from a slightly different perspective using ?Batman and Robin? as his literary conceit. Both Havisham and Kid feature literary conceits through which the poets convey the characters thoughts to the reader. In Havisham, Duffy uses her chosen metaphor as the title. This makes the theme of betrayal known to the reader from the very start of the poem. Duffy asexualises the main character in the title through the absence of the pronoun ?Mrs?. This puts extra emphasis on Mrs. Havisham?s metaphoric significance. In kid, Armitage uses the extended metaphor (Batman and Robin) to sarcastically influence the speakers? role reversal of his childhood relationship with his stepfather who left him and his mother, to be in a relationship with another woman. ...read more.

Middle

Enjambment is used in both poems, with each poet using this technique to create different effects on the reader. In Havisham, Duffy uses enjambment to build up dramatic tension in the poem. The enjambment used in Havisham goes against normal structure in poetry; ?who did this / to me??, the effect that is created by the thoughts of the speaker running over from one line to the other, emphasises the great anger felt by the speaker at this point. This use of enjambment is doubly useful, in this case as the overall effect of the enjambed lines is that the idea takes the form of a rant. Armitage creates a mood of aggression in Kid, partly caused by the structure of the poem. Kid is presented in four long periodic sentences with multiple sub-clauses, enjambed over nearly every line. One of the many examples can be seen on line one over to line two were the speaker says ?when you gave the order / to grow up?. The emjabments used in kid also add to the menacing tirade in the poem. In Havisham the structure of the poem resembles that of natural speech. ...read more.

Conclusion

The significant literal device found in Kid is the use of repetitive assonance which in this case is all the lines ending in ?r?: ?order... wander... yonder... rather... corner...?. These assonances conjures up an ?index finger pointing belligerently at the interlocutor?. The resulting effect is that of mounting anger and violence in the speaker. In conclusion Duffy lends pathos and a tragic dimension to her character. In order to have a tragic dimension in a character, the character needs to have experienced some sort of tragic event. For Havisham this was the betrayal which causes her to be totally self-aware. As a result this event will manifest itself in to the character of the speaker. This will cause the reader to sympathise with the speaker. In Kid, Armitage presents a character who seeks to measure himself favourably at someone else?s expense. This makes it much harder for the reader to sympathize with the speaker in Kid than in Havisham. As a result of this I feel that the speaker in Havisham is far more captivating than the one in Kid. This is mainly due to the effect the tragic event of betrayal suffered by the reader, has affected her behaviour. This in conjunction with the various stylistic and linguistic features in the poem make Havisham a more powerful and effective poem. ...read more.

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