W.H. Auden Miss Gee

Hope this helps with analysing his poetry. I will add to it as time moves on.

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  • Created by: Soka12
  • Created on: 11-10-13 14:54

Miss Gee Form and Theme


A ballad. Could be set to music, almost prose like. Usually features four lines with line 2 and line 4 ryhming. Iambic metre with four stresses in the first and thrid line, and three stresses in the second and third.


Loneliness (Miss Gee lives on her own and has no children) Isolation (From the community), Death (How you cannot escape it). Retelling the sad tale of a woman's life. (Based on the governess who raised Auden as a child)


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Miss Gee Style and Links


  • Ballad form (Helps to progress the tale, usually upbeat however the poem is not, it's a contradiction).
  • Plain language, conversational, detatched, emotionless (There is no pity displayed for Miss Gee)



  • Pessimistic, featuring death (1st September 1939, O What is That Sound).
  • Loneliness as featured in several Auden poems.
  • Abandonment (O What is That Sound, the abandonment of the speaker by their spouse)
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Miss Gee Aspects of Narrative

There is a conventional narrative within this poem.

Creates a character by revealing aspects of her life, causes problems for her and then kills her.

Stanza 5;  The stereotypical role of women. Selflessness, giving, boring etc.

Stanza 8; Freudian sexual reference (Electra complex), phallic imagery.

Stanza 13; Showing her submission. Black comedy (It is tragic). Irony (She is already a good girl)

Stanza 22; She is dead or dying. Quasi-comic. Lack of empathy. Change of tone, distancing the reader, she is mocked, we feel guilt for doing so.

Stanza 25; Studied rather than valued. The irony of Christian do-gooders. She only becomes of interest after her death. Lack of appreciation after devoting her life to God (Anti-religious? Does religion become your hamartia?)

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