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What Connections Have You Found Between The Ways In Which Duffy And Pugh Write About Social Problems? In Your Response, You Must Include Detailed Critical Discussion Of At Least Two Of Duffy’s Poems.

2115 words - 8 pages

Amy Asher AS Poetry Mrs LawrenceWhat connections have you found between the ways in which Duffy and Pugh write about social problems? In your response, you must include detailed critical discussion of at least two of Duffy's poems.Education for Leisure, ridicules the government and education. Writing during the 1980's employment rates were exceedingly high and Duffy talks of society in a critical way. Another poem by Duffy, Making Money, is a poem by Carol Ann Duffy which satirises society's obsession with money, and criticises what lengths people will go to for material goods. Similarly, poet Sheenagh Pugh also reflects the problems in society in her poem Birmingham Navigation Graffiti by presenting the setting of the city and the people that live there in a repulsive manner.Duffy undoubtedly criticises the political role of society in her poem Education for Leisure and uses satire and irony to portray the sort of society Thatcher's government was shaping. The juxtaposition in the title of 'education' with 'leisure' highlights how the system fails leaving young people unemployed. Education for Leisure is written in the form of a dramatic monologue, from the point of view of a young person, who has presumably left school and is on unemployment benefit as "once a fortnight" he will walk into town "for signing on". In the first stanza Duffy portrays the speaker of the poem to be frightening and disturbed; foreshadowing his capability of carry out truly terrible acts. The first line of the poem reads "Today I am going to kill something. Anything.", possibly reflecting destructive, angry, and desperate nature of some unemployed in member of society, but to the extreme. Furthermore, the speaker describes he is "going to play God", and later there is another religious reference when he flushes the "goldfish down the bog" with no care for life, and describes that he "see's it is good". Through the reference to God and the creation story, Duffy portrays the speaker to want to be powerful, and fulfils this need for control through harming creatures and taking lives. Alternatively a reason the character could be described to "play God" is because he is afflicted by "boredom" and has nothing better to do, which seems to be a result of his neglectful education and here Duffy is scrutinizing this aspect of society. Even though Duffy portrays the character in a cruel way his voice also seems to contain hues of a wounded child, with lines like "I have had enough of being ignored", and Shakespeare being "in another language" reflecting his struggle with learning.In the second stanza the speaker squashes and kills a fly with his thumb, remembering studying Shakespeare's works at school. "It was in/ another language and now the fly is in another language", he says. The speaker is extremely bitter about not having understood things at school, and perhaps not being given enough attention or time to improve himself. He feels like a victim, with no control over his...

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