Compare and contrast 'Lanarkshire Girls' by Lochhead and 'Recognition' by Duffy in terms of significant moments.

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Duffy and Lochhead both deal with the theme of significant moments.

Duffy’s ‘Recognition’ and Lochhead’s ‘Lanarkshire Girls’ both speak of a significant moment in the speakers’ lives. The former is a dramatic monologue spoken from the perspective of an older woman who realises she has grown older and regrets not doing more with her life, whereas, ‘Lanarkshire Girls’ is a young girl’s account of the first time she was allowed to travel into the city with her friends on the bus alone.

‘Recognition’ is structured into 8 quatrain stanzas which is visually neat, showing the structure of life however, on closer inspection, the use of enjambment between paragraphs shows the relentlessness of time and how it cannot be stopped or controlled. In contrast, ‘Lanarkshire Girls’ is set in three stanzas to represent the three stages of the speaker’s journey; leaving the countryside, approaching the city, and travelling through the city. This poem is written in free verse and contains enjambment and lists, ‘gospel halls, chapels, Orange halls,/ doctors’ surgeries, the crematorium, the zoo’, to show the girls’ excitement as there is too much for them to take in as they quickly drive past these sites; it is this excitement and adoration that makes this a significant moment for the girls.

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The tone in each poem differs thus showing the speakers’ differing reactions to their individual significant moments. In ‘Recognition’ the tone is regretful and bitter, ‘Children? I've had three/ and I don’t even know them’. However, a strain of positivity runs through the poem when the speaker recalls times from her past and happy memories from her childhood, ‘I lay in my slip on wet grass/ laughing’. There is also a tone of positivity in ‘Lanarkshire Girls’ however, it is more dominant than that in ‘Recognition’ as the speaker is constant adoration of her surroundings which is shown through her ...

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