History by Carol Ann Duffy (A2)

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  • History- Carol Ann Duffy
    • Title
      • History meaning "his story"- from the masculine point of view and immediately excludes women
    • Imagery
      • Grotesque imagery to shock- 'smelling of pee' and 'not a tooth in her head' which suggests this is a victim of neglect
      • 'birth' 'earth'- rhyming couplet and feminine- Mother Nature
      • 'Fresh graffiti sprayed on her door'-  on-going issue has stained out society due to graffiti’s difficulty to be washed away
    • Use of Verbs
      • 'Shuffled and limped' and 'wheezed and coughed'- emphasises the struggle for women's voices to be heard
    • Metaphor
      • Instant personification of 'she was History'- she is the symbol of female identity throughout history- neglected
      • 'Bones in a bed'- agonising imagery to show ill-health
    • Biblical References
      • 'She'd seen them ease him down from the Cross'- reference to Mary Magdalene- although she had an important role in the Bible but she did not write any of the Gospels
      • 'His (Christ's) mother gasping'- war and male ignorance has inadvertently affected other people throughout history
    • Context
      • 'Bannockburn, Passchendaele, Babi War, Vietnam'- wars across such a broad time scale 1314-1975 shows how misogyny is embedded within fabric of society
      • Herstory- written from feminist perspective emphasising the role of woman or told from a female view
    • Structure
      • Parallel between first and last stanza-  reinforces the toll that female exclusion has had in present day
      • In each stanza- war triumphs which provides a rather pessimistic view
    • Purpose
      • Show the exclusion of women throughout history- forced to be mere observers

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