Compare and contrast 'Redneck' and 'Warming Her Pearls' by Carol- Ann Duffy and Liz Lochhead

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Duffy and Lochhead both write about personal relationships. Compare and contrast two poems taking into account of the methods which each poet uses to write.

‘Warming Her Pearls’ by Duffy and ‘The Redneck’ by Lochhead are both dramatic monologues dealing with personal relationships; ‘Warming Her Pearls’ is narrated by a servant as she expresses her unrequited love for her mistress. ‘The Redneck’ is told through the eyes of a woman, now divorced as she reflects back on her wedding day and in doing so reveals her attitude toward her ex-husband. The former poem deals with a desire to begin a relationship while the latter deals with the termination of one.

‘Warming Her Pearls’ is structured into six, quatrain stanzas. This careful organisation reflects the strict instruction the maid is under, and how she is expected to carry out these instructions accurately and precisely. However, ‘The Redneck’ is written in free verse to represent that the speaker views her marriage as trivial and that she doesn’t care much about it as she looks back upon it. The poem is divided into two stanzas, one of which has sixteen lines and the other has only three. The first describes in detail the speaker’s wedding day, and the second speaks of her relationship with her new husband; this short stanza symbolises the short length of their marriage.

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Lochhead employs enjambment in the first stanza on the second line to emphasis the final word, ‘Starving’ in order to demonstrate in full capacity, the lengths the speaker went to secure her pride and to look her best. This speaks to the speaker’s superficiality. Enjambment is also used throughout ‘Warming Her Pearls’ in order to exhibit the maid’s train of thought and how she allows her fantasies to run on, ‘I picture her dancing/ with tall men’.

The extent of the maid’s fantasies is demonstrated through the use of ellipses in the third and fourth stanzas; ‘I see/ her ...

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