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.

Custard Apple Tree Politics

What the poem says about the global issue?


The poem depicts the life of a falling soldier and his awaiting family. The poem is an accurate depiction of the life of the individual families and group that have to suffer the loss and pain for the national gain. The “general” or “leader” has full command over the choices of young men and women. When the nation wins the war, history only remembers the general or the leader. The countless amounts of innocent lives lost are forgotten and effaced from memory.

How the poet uses language, form, and structure to present the global issue?

The poet structures the poem in a way that it leads in chronological order. The development of the poem starts from a very peaceful setting that later develops to a more fearful and dark theme. The poet utilizes complex diction mainly in the first and last stanza. The first stanza uses words that have a connotation of joyful and peaceful. The last stanza changes this tone with dictions that evoke negative feelings.

Relevant quotations?

“the carefree leaves” (5)

“pretty child smiling” (2)

“the time passing by” (13)

First Few Poem Thoughts: Green Rice

For the homework, we were asked to read through the first 6 poems of ‘Green Rice”. During class we focused on the study of the role of women in the Vietnam war. From this research, I learnt the extent of how challenging life was for these women and the struggles that they had to face on a daily basis. From Agent Orange: a herbicide to strip trees of leaves and foliage or Napalm bombs: fire bombs, all had detrimental effects on the health and well beings for many generations to come. Furthermore, we learnt that women, instead of playing the traditional role in history, were actually instructed to be fighting directly on the battlefield.


The relation to ‘Green Rice’ is that this book of poems depicts the same tragedies and catch-22 that the soldiers had to face. For example, the first poem quoted the feeling of bombs flying through the air and landing onto the grounds. The usage of pathos almost evokes a sense of despair and fright in the reader.

October 23rd Class Reflection

During today’s English class we began to touch on “Green Rice”. We were introduced to many of the scenarios that took place during the Vietnam War. For starters, we were introduced to women’s participation in the war. Unlike traditional combat where women were employed to produce weaponry, they were now playing the same role as men on the battlefield and coordinating attacks. Furthermore, my group was assigned an article where we read about the experiences of women Vietnam War veterans who shared their individual experiences in the war. The common theme was that they were all ill and sick in health to some extent, yet their sheer patriotism and love for their country motivated them to carry on.


We also touch base on some of the detrimental effects that the weapons used in the war had on civilians and soldiers. The first one was an herbicide chemical called Agent Orange. It was used primarily to strip the forest of their foliage and reveal the Vietnam soldiers, known as “Gorillas”. This application of chemical warfare brought upon a huge crisis to the future generation of the Vietnamese population as there newborn was highly likely to have a birth defect if their parents were exposed to this chemical.

Writing and Reflection

What went well? What surprised you?

I was most surprised by the amount I was able to write. Granted, it isn’t an essential aspect if I can’t justify it, however, before writing, I thought that my biggest concern would be writing to the end of the page.

What is the area most in need of attention?

At this point, I feel that yet again, my analysis and interpretation in the conclusion paragraph requires the most work. I put insufficient evidence; however, the amount of explanation I gave in describing each piece of evidence was inadequate. Furthermore, for the conclusion, I should attempt to direct my reflection more towards a “literature” aspect, rather than connecting it to my own life.

What practical strategies can you develop to improve?

I would want to develop my skills in understanding (indepthly) on how to make my body paragraphs longer through further ANALYSIS. I feel that I will adequately be able to accomplish this in class through classwork and asking questions.

Write One Target For Your Next Piece?

For the next piece, instead of focussing on directly on the writing, I want to set my goal as to have answers to all my questions:

-How to write a thorough analysis?

-How to write a proper conclusion that includes an accurate reflection?


The Catch 22 of Discrimination and Dilemmas

Currently, our world is plagued by various Global issues that put our mere existence in jeopardy. The two leading global problems that are recurring themes in Chapter 5 of Grendel are discrimination and effect on mental health.

Discrimination is present at every corner of Earth. From developing countries to the leading nations, all have an aspect of discrimination in their society. According to an article published by the National Public Radio, “over 92% of African Americans in the United States have personally faced discrimination in the past year”. This statistic clearly shows the discrimination that is present. The United States is one of the leading nations in the world, politically and economically. However, the presence of racial discrimination still affects society. The discrimination portrays an injustice where a group, in this case, African Americans, are belittled. This discrimination is also shown in Chapter 5 of Grendel. As well established in the previous chapters, Grendel wants nothing more than to be accepted by humans. When he encountered the dragon, he was told to “seek gold and sit on it” (Gardner 88). This quote represents the nature of not only the dragon’s perspective but how society sees Grendel. The action of seeking gold and sitting on it is a depiction of what the dragon wants Grendel to do, as in finding a tangible item that he likes and protecting it. The dragon knows that whatever anyone does will be forgotten after they die. This affects Grendel as he wants more than anything to be remembered, to be a significant figure in society. Eventually, he slowly comes to realize that his appearance would still be the barrier between.

Another global issue that is prevalent in society is the problem of mental health. The common misconception is that mental health regards purely upon dementia, Alzheimer ETC. However, it also factors in the psychological trauma and oppression that many individuals face.
According to a study conducted by The University of Stavanger, “33% of all students ranging 14-15 have been bullied verbally, and amongst this group, 25% have reported having been diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)”. The high levels of PTSD prove that verbal bullying does have a substantial negative impact on one’s mental health. This psychological sickness causes people to have a fixed mindset while also forcing them to think that they are never good enough in the standard. This same idea was portrayed in Grendel. The dragon mockingly told Grendel that “if you withdraw, you will instantly be replaced” (86). This quote by the dragon states that if Grendel were to die or disappear, he would leave no memory or legacy, instead simply replaced by another vicious monster. Grendel initially left the Dragon with the comment “wait and see”; the mindset of proving him wrong. However, further encounters with humans began to put his mental reality into fantasy. Grendel began to doubt whether the dragon was right with him.

The two leading global issues portrayed in the fifth chapter of Grendel is discrimination and mental health. The problems are not only seen in Gardener’s depiction of the protagonist but in the leading and developing nations of our society. Both of these issues have created hue dilemmas for the characters and the people of the world.

Grendel Global Issue

Throughout the novel, Grendel is continuously portrayed as a segregated creature who is never considered as equal to the group. The detrimental global issue represented in this particular aspect of the novel is segregation. Whether it being racism or sexism, both of them fall under the same category. Currently, many developing and developed nations deal with the crisis of inequality and discrimination. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization, nearly 85% of adults in developed countries had faced some aspect of discrimination in the workplace. With the current state of global affairs, qualified and trained professionals are looked down upon due to their childhood backgrounds or the race. Skilled female employers constantly battle the glass ceiling, where their careers come to a standing point due to their gender. These issues all pose critical threats to an equal and sustainable modern society.
Similarly, all of these dilemmas are shown in the novel Grendel. Grendel is by birth a monster. However, he has deep intellectual thoughts within himself that he is unable to express. He doesn’t speak the human language, and all humans fear him for his look. The novel states that he hoped that he had the strength and courage in himself to end it all, yet the hope that Grendel has that this “discrimination” and “injustice” would eventually come to an end.

Why Do We Study Literature?

Studying literature is based on understanding history and psychology. From plays by William Shakespeare to novels by Marie Shelly, all of the works portray a particular aspect in history that is still prevalent in modern-day society. Literature allows us to be aware of our surroundings, it will enable us to analyze and expand our minds further than what we are given. Literature serves as the last digit in a numerical passcode, the final piece that makes a situation understandable, and in this context, unlock the door. The last reason is that it addresses human behavior. All the feelings of trust, betrayal, anguish, success, and failure all aid in painting a recurring image in literature stating that the imperfections in society are what makes it perfect.

Science Project Reflection

1. Now that it’s over, what are my first thoughts about this overall project? Are they mostly positive or negative? Be specific

I thought that it was a great learning experience in helping me develop abilities to not only research, but in creating a project based on the research that I had conducted.

2. What were some of the most interesting discoveries I made while working on this project? About the problem? About myself?

Turns out the heat from the hot glue gun is high enough to melt a plastic bottle. (*found out the hard way when half my project began melting).

3. What were some of my most challenging moments and what made them so?

One of the most challenging moments for me was to find the documents and information needed for my research. Many websites portrayed different information that seemed very confusing after a given time period.

4. What were some of my most powerful learning moments and what made them so?

One powerful learning moment was while I was conducting my research. Throughout that time period, I truly saw for myself how large the problem of plastic polution was. Although I heard on multiple occasions that it was a rising problem globally, I never truly pictured the scenario in my head.

5. What is the most important thing I learned personally?

The most important thing I learned personally is to make sure I go into a project with a detailed plan and goal for each project day. The first project day my group had was almost a waste as we were very disorganized and wasn’t sure what was happening at the time.

6. What most got in the way of my progress, if anything?

Nothing seemed to get in my way, other than the confusion on the first day.

7. If in a team, how well did I and my team communicate overall?

As a team we worked together perfectly. My partner and I was able to equally seperate the work that we had to complete by a certain time period. We never argued about choices that had to be made as a group; instead we came to an agreement of a conclusion that both of us were satisfied with.

8. What did I learn were my greatest strengths? My biggest areas for improvement?

Seemingly my greatest strength was putting together a video with the limited time and resource constraints. I never really had the chance to work in this manner and I enjoyed it fully.

9. What would I do differently if I were to approach the same problem again?

PLAN PROPERLY before starting anything that we had to do.

10. What moments was I most proud of my efforts?

When my group mate and I were at the expo and many youngers kids found that our project was intresting and appealing.


I have chosen to try to increase my ability to hit the notes without stuttering. To do this, I would have to practice a large number of individual notes, ranging from low to high, to ensure that I am able to play them without fail. The song I have chosen to practice is the trombone version of Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself”.

My Practice For Next 6 Weeks: Practice On the Days I Don’t Have Band. (Weekends Off)

  • Blowing into mouth piece 3 seconds per time.
  • Chose appropriate material from the selection.
  • Practice chosen song “Love Yourself”- Justin Bieber. First half is just playing the song, second half start working on the sections that I’m not good at.