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Style and Carol Ann Duffy

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  • Category: Duffy

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Carol Ann Duffy penned a dark, cynical poem titled Havisham. The poem articulates a deep anguish dramatic monologue of a lonely old spinster lady – Havisham, a character from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Havisham was ditched on her wedding day by her fiancé, the consequences were that she was no longer respected and secluded from the society. Decades have past, Havisham remains in her wedding dress and cruses the love of her life for the pain and torture she has faced every day of her life and will continue to do so until she dies. The poet has sink into the characters minds, expresses her thoughts and describes the gravity of the situation by adopting metaphorical setting to convey the juxtaposed theme of love and hate. Carol Ann Duffy has created sympathy for the character by adopting symbolic imagery and characterization to convey the deteriorating and pessimistic life Havisham portrays.

Havisham aged single granny, seduced by the dark society and her unfaithful lover curses her life and the naivety as she submerges in her loneliness in her bedroom. The poet has conveyed a striking opening to the poem: “Beloved sweetheart bastard. Not a day since then

I haven’t wished him dead”
The poet has explored a metaphorical setting to an expose juxtaposed theme of love and hate by the use of oxymoron which illustrates that Havisham has deep feelings for her lover but extreme dislikes him now. Symbolic imagery is expressed by word choice which describes Havisham’s mood is to be harsh and cynical, this connotes a distressed angry character which wants revenge for her disloyal fiancé and wants him dead. Carol Ann Duffy opening sentences engages with the reader immediately as it creates suspense and humour. This immerses the reader into a dilemma and questions, why she wants her love of love to be dead and why she has a love and hate relationship with her lover.

Isolated unmarried old lady is delved into madness and expresses her frustration while she thinks about her life and conniving partner. Her angry and retaliation is expressed by:

“Prayed for it so hard I’ve dark green pebbles for eyes, ropes on the back of my hands I could strangle with.”

Carol Ann Duffy has adopted metaphorical setting to express the evil and vengeance Havisham possess to create the theme of hate and revenge. The use of colour imagery express the deep evil, jealously cynical thoughts the character conveys. The poet has used stone effect imagery to illustrate the frustration and anxiety she faces as pleads for justice. The age of the character is disclosed by addressing the conditions of her hand. Further bitterness and resentment is expressed as plans darling lovers murder. The reader is gripped with the dangerous mind Havisham resides in. The extent of anatagonism and enmity expressed plunges the reader into more suspense and leaves them in a baffling vision of an old lady trying to throttle darling sweetheart.

Seduced and secluded single old elderly contemplate with herself as she plots an revenge against her sweetheart in the isolated room during the day. The poet has expresses Havishams physical and mental state by:

“Spinster. I stink and remember. Whole days in bed cawing Nooooo at the wall; the dress yellowing, trembling if I open the wardrobe; the slewed mirror, full-length, her, myself, who did this to me?”

The poet demonstrated a literal setting to express the theme of loneliness and suffering. The one word sentence utilised to emphasise Havisham martial status in disgust. Smell imagery has been adopted to express the old granny’s odours as she recall the devastating event of her life. Use of onomatopoeia illustrates crow like sounds, which conveys dehumanises sounds characterising Havisham to be in denial as she emotionally breaks down in bed. Poet has adopted colour imagery to visualise old dirty appearance of Havisham, which also connotes death and decay. The word choice to describes Havisham as she opens her closet and sees herself in the mirror connotes fear and insecurity. The use of rhetorical question illustrates Havisham’s insanity and misery. Carol Ann Duffy engages with the readers by creating vivid description of the character to convey sympathy and consideration for Havisham. The reader feels mercy for the character and provoked by Havisham unfaithful lover who has left her in this madness state. [pic][pic]

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