How do Carol Anne Duffy in Havisham and Simon Armitage in Kid present different perspectives on the theme of betrayal?

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How do Carol Anne Duffy in Havisham and Simon Armitage in Kid present different perspectives on the theme of betrayal?

        These two poems are written about very different subjects but they both explore the theme of betrayal. In the first poem ‘Havisham’, the poet Carol Anne Duffy uses Mrs. Havisham, a fictional character from the well know novel ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens, as her extended metaphor for betrayal. In the second poem ‘Kid’ by Simon Armitage, the poet presents the theme of betrayal from a slightly different perspective using ‘Batman and Robin’ as his literary conceit.

           Both Havisham and Kid feature literary conceits through which the poets convey the characters thoughts to the reader. In Havisham, Duffy uses her chosen metaphor as the title. This makes the theme of betrayal known to the reader from the very start of the poem. Duffy asexualises the main character in the title through the absence of the pronoun “Mrs”. This puts extra emphasis on Mrs. Havisham’s metaphoric significance.  In kid, Armitage uses the extended metaphor (Batman and Robin) to sarcastically influence the speakers’ role reversal of his childhood relationship with his stepfather who left him and his mother, to be in a relationship with another woman.

        Both poems use strong plosives in the opening line of the poem. Havisham starts off with the phrase “Beloved sweetheart bastard”. The repetition of the letter ‘b’ gives the poem an immediate aggressive tone and evokes anger. This phrase is also an oxymoron; the poet is expressing the characters unhealthy state of mind through the polarisation of feeling. This is a result of these two feeling, love and hate, are irreconcilable, and yet both experienced by the speaker to their extremes. Simon Armitage in kid also employs plosives to emphasise the anger and violence expressed throughout the poem examples include, “Batman, big shot” and “punching the palm of your hand”. Therefore, both poems use plosives in order to gain the same effect, emphasis on aggression and anger.

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Clothing is another common device used by both poets to express the characters state of mind. In Havisham the speaker seems to use clothing to convey a deeper meaning to the reader. “Loves hate behind a white veil” This oxymoron presents two overwhelming contradictory emotion. This shows that although the speaker is angry there is also a more sophisticated side to her. However in kid, the description of clothing is far less sophisticated; “now I’ve doffed that off-the-shoulder / Sherwood-forest-green and scarlet number for a pair of jeans and crew-neck jumper”        . The speaker in kid evaluates his adulthood through his ...

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