Carol Ann Duffy - Havisham

Analsis of the poem, in detail.

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  • Created by: Burnl010
  • Created on: 20-05-11 09:49


 It is a monologue of the character Miss Havisham in Dickens book GREAT EXPECTATIONS. She was jilted (left) at the altar on her wedding day and so she continues to wear her wedding dress, she also stopped all the clocks in the house, and left the wedding feast untouched. She also has not washed since the day of her wedding. She stays in bed and screams in denial.

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Love – Past love she has for someone that turns into HATE (Beloved Sweetheart, love)

Hate- is because she was left at the altar (I stink and remember, I haven’t wished him dead, prayed for it so hard)

Revenge- she hates her unmarried state(Spinster, haven’t wished him dead, give me a male corpse, don’t think it’s only the heart that can b-b-b-break)

Violence-act of revenge (Stabbed the wedding-cake, strangle)

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Four Stanza’s, 12 sentences, different lengths for impact, show uncertainty and confusion, there are one word sentences for impact as it is dramatic, enjambment shows that there is a rhythm of speech, there are hyphenated words.

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- Monologue

- Oxymoron

- Metaphor

- Colour imagery

- Rhetorical questions,

- Negative sexual imagery

- Violent verbs.

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Note that it there is no Miss, and Havisham shows that she is unmarried, and this gives clue to the poem for people that do not know the book of great expectations

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Stanza one

There is confusion.

Beloved sweet ******* – contradiction

Dark green pebbles for eyes – metaphor, shows hatred, shows that maybe she is jealous that women have nicer eyes.

I could strange with – shows hatred and the revenge

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Stanza Two

Spinster  ­- it is on its own for emphasis on how she hates the idea that she is unmarried, it shows a negative affect

I stink and remember ­ - this shows that she has some sanity because she knows that she stinks, not very flattering, depression

Cawing Nooooo at the wall  - as she turns less sane, suggest animalistic behaviour (Bird)

The dress yellowing – shows how old she is turning, the dress is decaying like her thoughts

 Her, myself, who did this to me – the answer is simple, but shows she is not herself, the her, myself, shows that she has forgotten who she is (her identity) and is confused.

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Stanza Three

Puce curses – purple colour, horrible imagery, suggests she is saying horrible things

The lost body over me – dreams of her lover? And thinking would it would be like with him still,.

My fluent tongue it its mouth in its ear – thinking of him as an object

Bite awake  - shows that she still hates him just she has dreams off loving him, violent phrase, more imagery of her getting revenge

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Stanza four

Love’s hate behind a white veil - oxymoron. If wearing a white  veil it suggests love and purity which it not Havisham thoughts.

Red balloon bursting in my face – seeing red, anger increased, but also a sexual colour, so negative, also the heart bursting metaphorically.

Bang – suggests more violence, onomatopoeia.

 I stabbed at a wedding-cake – noticing not her wedding cake, violent action again.

Give me a male corpse – wishes him dead

Don’t think it’s only the heart that b-b-b-breaks – Threatening, shows final breakdown, heartbeat, she is crying.

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Progress in colour imagery; Green –Yellowing – red.  Good to bad

Progress, anger getting worse, less sane, irony no progress from the past.

Violent imagery (dead, dark, ropes, strangle, curses, bite, bang, stabbed, corpse)

General imagery (green pebbles, the dress, the wardrobe, yellowing, slewed mirror, white veil, red balloon)

Human imagery (tongue, mouth, ear)

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An excellent 10 page sequence of notes, would benefit anyone studying the subject.

Especially helpful for those taking the exam this Tuesday (24.05.11)

Rated 5*

Great Stuff!

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