Secret Life in Carol Anne Duffy

After reading “Secret Life in Carol Anne Duffy’s Poem”, the three major points are “Man and Wife”, the ambiguous perspectives, and the “Mythical Pasts”.

Through her poems, Duffy abolishes the phrase of “the world and his wife” which targets men as the upmost importance with women as their mere appendages and gives a voice to the women who were previously unheard. The meaning behind this provides the reader with information that allows them to understand the situation that the women were at conflicting with, thus allowing the meaning of the poem to be more easily understood. “The World’s Wife” by Carol Anne Duffy had the overarching idea of spreading the rights of women and their voices in society. In these poems, the identity and gender of the narrator are often unclear, and the reader must guess based on tone and behavior, this choice is, however, intentional and almost offers one’s own interpretation regarding the voices of women. This allows Duffy to contain more emotion and meaning in her writing. The last major point that was seen in Duffy’s poetry is the theme of “Mythical Pasts”. The usage of certain myths and historical characters that relate to the establishment of male dominance and female submission almost provides further historical context regarding the origins of such thoughts and behaviors. By reviewing individual characters, it is almost as if she is attempting to use her poetry to change the biased mindset of the reader.

2 thoughts on “Secret Life in Carol Anne Duffy

  1. Do you really feel that the gender of the persona is unclear? I think it’s evidently female in most cases. This is vital for our understanding of the message Duffy wishes to put forward. Do you think the biased mindset is as much of an issue today as it was twenty years ago when the collection was published? Is the collection still valid? Would the message from the collection be the same if Duffy wrote it today?

    1. I feel that Duffy would most certainly be able to write a similar message today; however, certain contextual details may have to be changed. The problem of a biased mindset may not be as prevalent as it was 20-30 years ago, but this is not to say that it does not exist. Workplace discrimination is one of the most common forms of modern gender bias, women are seen as inferior to their male counterpart.

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