View mindmap
  • Perfection
    • Beautiful
      • Male definitions of feminine perfection
        • 'Dumb beauty', 'Tough beauty', 'Beauty is fame'
        • Trimeter in Helen section recalls the metre used by Homer in the Iliad
        • Pentameter in Cleopatra section recalls Shakespeare's description of her on the 'burnished throne' in Antony and Cleopatra
        • Men obsessed with the 'perfect' woman: they 'march' to Helen's name, the 'eyes' of Antony's soldiers are Cleopatra's 'way'
        • Disastrous male response to rejection: Helen was 'the face that launched a thousand ships' (Marlowe)
      • Submission to the male gaze (Laura Mulvey)
      • Women are dehumanised; become illusions of masculine fantasy
        • Asyndetic listing of 'quiet please, action, cut...'
        • Helen's 'virginity was sought by a thousand suitors' (Ovid), she is the head of 'coins'
        • Cleopatra wrapped 'like a gift'
        • Diana a 'star'
      • Women are victims of 'History's stinking breath' because 'beauty is fate'
    • The Diet
      • Dangerous culture of obsession is a woman's 'inheritance'
      • Compulsion for female perfection: 70m sufferers of eating disorders worldwide
        • Heirs to anorexia, her 'true daughter[s]'
      • Regression is romanticised: 'child sized', 'doll sized', turning 'skeletons into goddesses' (Hornbacher)
        • Rejection of 'apple'- true womanhood abandoned for 'skeleton' and 'guns for hips'
    • Oranges
      • Christian perfection is the spiritual union with God according to New Advent
      • Jeanette, it', is a 'blessing' to 'get', 'train', and 'build'
      • Jeanette doesn't fall victim to the 'bait' of the Pentecostal church
      • Church dogma is undermined
        • Bathos of the 'torment[ing] heathen with 'strange noises' and the 'ice cream' purchase
        • Melodrama of 'froze', 'shrieked', sung 'ask the saviour to help you' as amulet, 'epidemic of demons ... spreading'
        • Hypocrisy of the 'wine glass' readily available, 'cut throat business', 'The Holy Mystery of Perfection': prince is 'petulant' and a 'fool' who chops off woman's head (refusal of church to comply)
        • The Holy Mystery of Perfection demonstrates the Hitlerian ideal of the perfect race; achieveing perfection is 'The Holy Grail'
        • Hyperbole of Mrs White 'clamp[ing]' against the wall, Mrs Winterson 'rushing' to cover J's ears, 'furious[ly]' attacking 'Next Door' (the unknown, imperfect) with song


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all Carol Ann Duffy resources »