Carol Ann Duffy's The World's Wife

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Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife

‘The World’s Wife is a callous feminist attack on men’.

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Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife is a collection of poems mainly based around legend, myth and fairytale.
All of these poems feature male characters or references to them.

Little Red Cap, the first poem featured in the collection uses the story of Little Red Riding Hood to portray men as wolves

‘In his wolfy drawl, a paperback in his hairy paw’.

She implies that men are dangerous and violent.

‘The wolf, I knew would lead me deep into the woods, away from home, to a dark tangled thorny place’.

‘One bite, dead. How nice, breakfast in bed, he said.’

Also, Duffy implies the manipulative nature of men.
’Lesson one that night, breath of the wolf in my car, was the love poem’.

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The poem indicates Duffy’s view that men are weak and easy to tempt with prospects of pleasures of the flesh.
’I made quite sure he spotted me, sweet sixteen, never been, babe, waif, and bought me a drink’.

This poem depicts in various derogatory terms, indicating an attack on men in general.

Thetis, the next poem to be found in the collection, looks at men from a different perspective. Whereas Little Red Cap portrays men as weak and pathetic, Thetis shows how men can be overpowering and possessive.
Throughout the poem, the woman is trying to escape from the man.
She changes herself into ...

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