GCSE English Literature Poetry (4)

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Stealing

  • Description 
  • Dramatic monologue that gives the reader an insightful look into the mind of a kleptomaniac.
  • Based on the true story of someone stealing a snowman.
  • The phrase "better off dead than giving in" suggests Duffy empathises with the speaker's compulsion to steal.
  • The poem has a mysterious tone, the sex of the speaker is ambiguous.
  • The speaker tries to make the reader feel involved with rhetorical questions such as "The most unusual thing I ever stole?" and "you don't understand a word I'm saying, do you?"
  • Duffy writes in such a way that she is sympathetic to the character.
  • The speaker sees the consequences of his actions, but has no sympathy for his victims.
  • Language
  • "as cold as the slice of ice" - internal rhyme, sounds sinister, portrays to the reader the feelings of bitterness felt by the speaker.
  • "I wanted him, a mate" - suggests the speaker has no real friends, is emotionally cold.
  • "I am a mucky ghost…

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