Compare how Carol Ann Duffy presents women in the poems Havisham and Salome

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By Jack Yull 9A1

English Essay

Compare how Carol Ann Duffy presents women in the poems Havisham and Salome

In the poems ‘Havisham’ and ‘Salome’ the characters have both experienced pain conflicted by love. Love has been a big part in both of these women’s lives as it has mentally scarred them and affects them in their future love lives. However both scarred, their lives are almost completely different

Carol Ann Duffy makes the characters very contradictory as they are both undecided about men. For example in Havisham ‘Beloved sweetheart bastard’ and in Salome ‘I’ll do it again...Never again!’ This shows that both women have mixed feelings for the men that have previously been in their lives. The poems show what side effects the women put up with years after the event which haunted them. The females are both uncertain if they either love or hate men. The characters are very different as Havisham is very emotional, ‘I stink and remember. Whole days in bed cawing Nooooo’ this suggests she is emotional as it seems she is in a terrible depressed state. On the other and Salome is very careless and seems promiscuous, ‘what was his name?’ this shows how careless she is as she will sleep with random men and gets on with life no matter what unaware to those she hurts.  The characters are also very different as Havisham has very low self esteem and thinks she isn’t worthy of anyone else. Whereas Salome has very high self esteem, ‘Good looking, of course’ this suggests that she doesn’t fall in love with men who are below her high standards. Also ‘I’d done it before’ this suggests it isn’t the first time she has slept with a random man. She also says ‘I needed to clean up my act’ suggesting that she may start to become a bit more mature and settle down. The poem also makes Salome sound very weak willed ‘I’d done it before... I’ll do it again’ this shows how fragile she is as she falls for someone very easily.

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Havisham’s attitude towards men is negative as she believes that every man will ruin her life so she feels that she can’t trust anyone. So she stays cooped up trying to stay away from men. She also shows a lot of hatred towards her ex- fiancé, ‘I could strangle with’ this suggests that she wants to see him suffer as revenge for breaking her heart. It also suggests she is very violent and she wants to harm him. Another quote to back this up is ‘Bang. I stabbed’ this to me suggests the ‘Bang’ of gun and creates an image ...

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