The Devils Wife

Context

This poem is written from the point of view of Myra Hindley, who, together with Ian Brady, was convicted of the sexual assault, torture and murder of several children in 1965. The case is known collectively as the Moors Murders.

She was originally sentenced to 25 years in prison, but successive Home secretaries lengthened this ( none of them wanting to be remembered as having released her) until she eventually died in prison in 2001.

Ian Brady was held in Ashworth hospital, where he had been on a hunger strike. He continually asked to be allowed to die, and finally did on the 15th May 2017.

The relationship between these two has been called a classic ‘folie a deux’, where neither would have committed such terrible crimes on their own, but together a kind of evil chemistry drove them on.

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Content

Themes:

- Love

- Death

-Relationship

- Religion

- Ethics 

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Structural Devices

The last three lines represent Hindley’s utter confusion. And yet she seems to have an insight, in her assertion that the ‘Devil was evil’ and that she was the ‘Devil’s wife.’

The final rhyming couplet provides a conclusion to this section that emphasises her growing desperation. She ‘howled’ when she realises that Brady, her ‘devil’, won’t be with her again; that prison will be her hell.

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Language Devices

The line ‘not in the room’ is repeated in each stanza. What is meant is debateable. Hindley may be denying she is even present, that her mind is far away and refusing to accept her involvement in murder, and that Brady alone was responsible

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