• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The poem, Valentine, is a monologue by Carol Ann Duffy addressed to her lover.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Valentine analysis: The poem, ?Valentine?, is a monologue by Carol Ann Duffy addressed to her lover. It is part of the set ?Mean Time? published in 1993. It explores an unorthodox and frank side of love and compares it to the frivolities of Valentines day. The poem is written in free verse and has no rhyme scheme. This emulates a conversation and also represents the disorder and unpredictability of love. It is loosely structured into six stanzas, each focusing on a different aspect of love. Similar to the peeling of an onion, the first few stanzas focus on the more pleasant parts of love and become progressively abhorrent. Duffy makes certain lines emphatic by isolating them from stanzas. The sentence ?I am trying to be truthful? is an instance of this. Isolated from the second and third stanzas, this line is emphasized since it is one of the main purposes of the poem ? to give her lover a veracious description of their love. She also uses enjambment to continue some ideas and create suspense. For instance, the sentence in stanza two begins ?It will blind you with tears? and continues to the next line in the same sentence ?like a lover?. ...read more.

Middle

The words ?blind? and ?wobbling? suggests the uncertainty of their relationship. In stanza four she uses an epanalepsis by repeating the words at the end of the line, ?as we are?. This hints the possibility of either of them being unfaithful to the other. The epanalepsis changes the meaning of the sentence from the extent of the couple?s loyalty to the possibility of future unfaithfulness. In the fifth stanza, Duffy introduces the idea of marriage but portrays it as constraining a implied by the word ?shrinks?. The phrase ?Take it.? and its brief abruptness contrasts with the demure and servile phrase ?if you like?. This shows the versatility of love. The sixth stanza shows the danger and cruelty in love. The word ?Lethal.? is a one-word sentence and shows Duffy?s absolute certainty of the dark side of love. The word lethal has connotations of danger, death and fear, none of which are typically associated with love. This addresses the misconception that love is purely joy and happiness. The last line, ?cling to your knife? shows the enmity in love, especially the animosity that forms between a couple after marriage. ...read more.

Conclusion

She uses many imperatives which show her emphatic, forceful tone. In the beginning of the poem, she describes the positive aspects of love using words like ?light? and ?love? which hint her optimistic and blissful tone. This engenders a tone of contentment. As the poem progresses, the words she uses become harsher. The words ?blind? and ?wobbling? imply an unsteadiness or loss of happiness. This marks a slight pain in the tone. This evokes sympathy for Duffy and her lover. Duffy then uses the word ?shrinks? which implies entrapment. This could create a mood of panic at the thought of marriage. Finally, she uses deadly words like ?lethal? and ?knife?. This shows her vicious tone that creates a mood of fear and agitation from the reader. These are so completely incongruous with typical ideas of love The contrast between the beginning where love is ?light? and end where it is ?lethal? is particularly striking. This marked variety in the emotions love produces is the main purpose of the poem. Duffy hence accurately portrays the various dimensions of love through her adept use of structure, language and literary devices to surprise the reader with her unorthodox view of it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Carol Ann Duffy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Carol Ann Duffy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How has Duffy used classical myths in order to comment on the nature of ...

    5 star(s)

    Then the final statement, 'it got worse' develops the dramatic effect that something worse was yet to come, and it possibly could not get any worse, as she has undergone so much already. Furthermore, the only way for Tiresias, as a woman to achieve power, was to be with men

  2. By close study of "Valentine" and "I Wouldn't Thank You for a Valentine" shows ...

    is deadly and that it is used on one line makes it seem all the more potent. Finally, the word "cling" is used twice in the final stanza to really communicate to the reader how love is inescapable. Duffy's use of the words "as we are" and "for as long

  1. Carol Ann Duffy explores different types of relationships in 'Valentine' and 'Before you were ...

    And she asks another rhetorical question. She remembers when she was a child and she danced to the 'cha cha cha on the way home from mass' She wanted to express herself. Her mother has not realized her full potential; she married at a young age and has the responsibility of motherhood.

  2. Compare 3 poems by Carol Ann Duffy in which she shows us that things ...

    Carol Ann Duffy's ideas and attitudes of her pre-teens are portrayed in this poem. She clearly felt very safe and secure in Mrs Tilscher's class, which 'glowed like a sweet shop.' This experience seems to have stuck in her memory for a number of reasons.

  1. The two poems which I am going to discuss are "Stealing" and "Valentine" both ...

    The next line is a single word: "Lethal". Here Duffy either wants the readers to think that marriage will ultimately lead to death or divorce, or she has written it sarcastically to the lover, maybe because he thinks marriage is mean less. She adds to her lovers thoughts by saying: "It's scent will cling to your fingers, cling

  2. In "Little Red Cap" discuss the use ofimagery, syntax and structure.

    Also in this last stanza, there is a change of tense from past to present. "I filled his old belly with stones. I stitched him up. Out of the forest I come with my flowers, singing all alone.

  1. Discuss the ways in which Carol Ann Duffy explores the theme of alienation in ...

    does not sound like our voice which is usual as anything written in the first person usually sounds like our own voice making us feel slightly alienated. The imagery in Stealing is very inventive and successful when conveying the theme of alienation.

  2. The poem The Dolphins by Carol Ann Duffy is a monologue written from the ...

    The poet uses the phrase ?cannot breathe for long? to give a sense of panic and captivity. Duffy develops the idea of the dolphins? lack of liberty by repeating certain words and phrases like ?same space? and ?pool?. This emphasis the dolphin?s limited perception of the world.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work