Comparison of Stealing and Hitcher
In this essay, I will be comparing two poems; Stealing, by Carol Ann
Duffy and Hitcher, by Simon Armitage. I will be using several
categories in which to structure my comparison, which include style of
language and structure. In this piece, I hope to provide in depth
analysis into the narrators feelings and the poets techniques. Finally
I will be making a summary of my comments in a brief conclusion at the
end, which will include my thoughts on both poems.
The style of language in these poems have several similarities as well
Firstly, in Stealing, Duffy has managed to fuse conversational English
with typical poetic devices. The poem has been written in a colloquial
style and shows use of slang, merged with metaphors and impressive
techniques. For example; the narrator uses slang words and phrases
such as “mate…pinch…nicked a bust” but can converse in a poetic style,
using metaphors such as “my breath ripped out in rags”. This contrast
between the speech usually associated with members of the sub classes
of society, and that found in the middle class is very effective.
Consequently, Duffy gives the narrator a voice.
In Simon Armitage’s Hitcher, we see mainly basic English enhanced with
some local ‘lingo’ and well known sayings. Often, the subject is using
words taken from the mouth of the hitcher. This poem is written in
first person, like in Stealing. Also, in Hitcher, the narrator uses
plain English, which is very casual and almost conversational,
although not to the extent of that in Stealing. For example, the
subject uses the hitchers own words - “He was following the sun from
east to west”, but he also uses some slang - “I let him have it” - The
style of language is quite basic.
The narrative voice is very powerful in both poems, it adds
significance and helps emphasise the emotions of the narrators.
In Stealing, we can easily establish that the narrator is a member of
the subclasses. However, he has very complex feelings and many
emotions. Duffy gives the narrator the ability to express his thoughts
and feelings in a way unlike any other member of the subclasses. She
gives him a voice in which he can express himself. For example, the
narrator says “a mind as cold as the slice of ice within my own
brain”. This is not something we would expect from a person from the
same background as the one we assume the narrator has. The narrator
speaks in a very eerie and disturbing way. He says “A stranger’s
bedroom. Mirrors. I sigh like this - Aah.”. The narrators voice is
very significant. It gives us an insight into the reasons for his
strange behaviour and increases the drama and bewilderment within the
This is the same in Hitcher. The narrators voice gives us an idea of
the frustration and anger the narrator is feeling. Like in stealing we
get a sense that not all is right within the mind of the narrator.
However, unlike in Stealing,...