Comparing Change And Loss In Carol Ann Duffy's Poems

Powerful Essays
Change and loss are inevitable
Compare and contrast the ways in which change and loss are presented in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry collection ‘Mean Time’
Both Williams- in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’- and Duffy – in ‘Mean Time’- present change and loss as central, complex ideas. The consternation of change is an intrinsic human fear, as demonstrated by characters in both works of literature. Setting, characterization and allegory are just some of the ways they present relatable characters who cower in the face of change. Another ineluctable element of life is loss; both Duffy and Williams understand this, intelligently indicating this using a variety of poetic and dramatic techniques.

Throughout the play, Williams
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In Duffy’s free verse, dramatic monologue poem ‘Havisham’ cacophony and juxtaposition are employed in the opening phrase ‘beloved sweetheart bastard’. The juxtaposition between the descriptive adjective ‘beloved’ and the noun ‘sweetheart’ and the profane noun ‘bastard’ show the change in the narrator’s attitude towards the relationship. It also conveys the unstable mental state of Havisham and exposes her uncertainty and ambivalence. The cacophony also shows the narrators anger directed towards this unnamed ‘bastard’; this anger has replaced what we can infer to be affection from metonymical phrases such as ‘a white veil’ and ‘honeymoon’ Cacophony is also used in the last stanza coupled with half rhyme. Duffy uses a series of words - ‘awake, hate, face, cake, and break’ – to convey the mood of the poem. The poem has a stilted metre and violent lexis ‘such as ‘Dead, strangle, puce, curse, and stabbed ’which emphasises this further. This poem is an intimate look inside the mind of ‘Miss Havisham’, a character in Charles Dickens ‘Great Expectations’. Both Dickens book and Duffy’s poem illustrate Havisham to be a bitter woman after having been left at the alter many decades ago. Havisham and Blanche are comparable characters as both display an intense refusal to change, both still live in the past. Havisham spends all her time focused on her ex-fiancé, in ‘Great…show more content…
As this poem is written in free verse, a lack of clarity is implied, showing the impact of losing a relationship on the speaker . Pathetic fallacy is a technique Duffy employs often in this poem, talking of ‘darkening sky’ and ‘endless nights’. She has also used personification, claiming that the clocks have ‘stole light’, this is a metaphor for the inevitability of change and emphasized the insignificance of human resistance against time. Duffy was a practicing Catholic in her school days and though no longer Catholic, her language retains a pious quality especially evident in the use of light as a motif. The connotations of light are widely understood which allows Duffy’s poetry to be widely accessible. Sean O’Brien praises her on this claiming her poetry is ‘as open to the reader of Catherine Cookson [ the most widely read author of the United Kingdom] as to the educated student of the
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