How do Duffy and Jennings portray loss?

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How do Duffy and Jennings portray loss?

        From looking at Havisham by Carol Ann Duffy and Absence by Elizabeth Jennings, it is obvious that there is a common theme of loss. However, each extract shows a different loss, and different feelings towards loss. Havisham shows a the feelings of a person who has been left and betrayed by their love, whereas Absence shows the feelings of someone whose love has died.

        The lexical field of violence in Havisham show the woman’s feelings towards her partner’s leaving. The choice of words such as ‘dead’, ‘strangle’, ‘bite’, ‘stabbed’ and ‘corpse’ suggest that she is angry about his choice and is seeking some kind of revenge for hurting her so. However, these could also suggest things about the woman herself, maybe she is a very violent person and this is the only way she can express herself. Yet, it is certainly evident that this couple did not end on good terms suggesting that maybe there was an affair involved or maybe that the woman was left at the altar. This can also be seen in the quote ’Love’s hate behind a white veil.’ This includes juxtaposition in the joining of the words ’love’ and ’hate’. This can be interpreted to show that the woman was left at the altar because this would have been when she was wearing the veil. Furthermore, this can also be seen the Duffy’s word choice of ‘Spinster’ which means a woman that has never been married, this shows that although there is a wedding dress and other marital related things in the poem, the woman never actually gets married.

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        Another use of juxtaposition is shown in the first sentence ‘Beloved sweetheart bastard’. This straight away shows the woman’s feelings for her partner, by mixing terms of endearment with an offensive term. Furthermore, there are many definitions of the word ‘bastard’ which also link into the poem. When used as a noun the word can be an offensive term for someone who is obnoxious or disagreeable; or an offensive term for someone who is born to unmarried parents, which links with the word ‘spinster’; or an offensive term to something that is extremely difficult or trying; or lastly it ...

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