English Literature: Carol Ann Duffy Mrs Lazarus

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Talk about the Title "Mrs Lazarus"
Lazarus from the Bible - Jesus restores him to life four days after death. Mrs Lazarus his wife. - used to connote restoration to life and refers to when somebodies heart starts to rebeat
1 of 26
How is Duffy's feminism portrayed in this poem?
Seeing the poem through wife's point of view.
2 of 26
"I had greived"
Clear state of mind
3 of 26
"ripped the cloth I was married in from my breasts, howled, shrieked, clawed, at the burial stones till my hands bled, retched his name over and over again, dead, dead."
Demolishing aspects of herself (wedding dress) graphic verbs (dehumanises) hurting herself, making herself ill - physical sickness. Very long sentence = grief goes on and on
4 of 26
"Gone home. Gutted the place"
Trying to get rid of him - working physically but not psychologically.
5 of 26
"Slept in a single cot, widow, one empty glove, white femur in the dust, half."
Words reinforce her single widow status 'femur' skeletal
6 of 26
"noosed the double know of a tie round my bare neck"
Links to hanging - suggests she will kill herself
7 of 26
"gaunt nun in the mirror"
Pale/thin - believer and black because mourning and no husband. shes a celibate - not engaged in sexual activity
8 of 26
"I learnt the stations of bereavement"
Symbolises the stages - getting over her loss
9 of 26
"but all those months he was going away from me, dwindling to the shrunk size of a snapshot, going. going.
Bereavement also happened over a long lime and possibly the months leading up to his death unlike four days in the Bible story. - emjambment suggests grief is carrying on
10 of 26
"Till his name was no longer a certain spell for his face"
Not triggering a response.
11 of 26
"His scent went from the house"
Nice description, slowly getting over him, getting better - not like the end "stench"
12 of 26
"See, he was vanishing to the small zero held by more gold ring"
Ring was a symbol of marriage - now means nothing.
13 of 26
"Then he was gone"
Acceptance
14 of 26
"Then he was legend, language; my arm on the arm of the school teacher - the shock of a man's strength under the sleeve of his coat"
Distant past - only a name/word - moving on met somebody new - hasn't been use to it.
15 of 26
"But I was faithful for as long as it took. Until he was memory"
She still hasn't forgotten him, a respectable widow, grief is constantly diminishing.
16 of 26
"So I could stand that evening in the field"
Possibly a memory of some significance to them
17 of 26
"Then notice the village men running towards me, shouting"
Men are recontrolling her - patriarchy. Juxtaposes to beginning of stanza when everything is still
18 of 26
"behind them women and children, barking dogs"
Reinforces patriarchy - different stanza for women and children
19 of 26
"...and I knew. I knew by the shrill light on the blacksmith's face, the sly eyes of the barmaid"
Not happy, scared - realisation. Judgement - knew she would be envious - possibly peased
20 of 26
"the sudden hands bearing me into the hot tang of the crowd parting before me"
Forcing and pushing her to go and see him. Sharp scent - sweaty excitement of crowd.
21 of 26
"He lived"
Short sentence = impact
22 of 26
"I saw the horror on his face"
Represents her horrific reaction.
23 of 26
"I breathed his stench; my bridegroom in his rotting shroud, moist and dishevelled"
Doesn't want to be reminded of the pain she went through - unwelcome of his return.
24 of 26
"from the grave's slack chew"
Personification - monstrous figure - spitting him out
25 of 26
"croaking his cuckold name, disinherited, out of his time"
Man has been cheated upon, word of accusation, laughing stock, controlling. He has had his time and now having extra time - greedy
26 of 26

Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

How is Duffy's feminism portrayed in this poem?

Back

Seeing the poem through wife's point of view.

Card 3

Front

"I had greived"

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

"ripped the cloth I was married in from my breasts, howled, shrieked, clawed, at the burial stones till my hands bled, retched his name over and over again, dead, dead."

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

"Gone home. Gutted the place"

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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