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Is The Worlds Wife Is Feminist Propaganda?

1337 words - 5 pages

I do not agree that the collection, The Worlds Wife, is “nothing but
feminist propaganda”. I must agree that there are a lot of poems
within the collection that are feminist in some way or another but
there are also others that don’t really show a feeling of feminist
propaganda at all. ‘Propaganda’ means “Information given to show
something or someone in a biased way” and ‘Feminist’ means “Women are
better than men and so can do everything better than they can” and
therefore ‘Feminist Propaganda’ means “the spread of information about
how women are greater than men”. This collection does show the
empowerment of women throughout the selected poems because of the
switch from famous male characters to their female counterparts.

“Mrs Quasimodo”, “Queen Herod”, “The Kray Sisters” and “Little Red
Cap” are feminist poems because in all of these poems the women become
better off by the end of the poem and show that men are useless.
However poems like “Mrs Faust”, “Anne Hathaway”, “Mrs Midas” and “The
Devil’s Wife” are not seen to be so strongly linked in with “feminist
propaganda”, true they are opposites of their famous male counterparts
but they do not seem to have messages of feminism within them.

“Mrs Quasimodo” is seen to have a very feminist view built into it,
Duffy has used Mrs Quasimodo to show feminist views but also uses her
to show her feelings about social presence such as betrayal within
marriage; this view of social presence is however seen to be more
important than the view of feminism. In the poem “Mrs Quasimodo”
Duffy uses the bells as an aide to show the feminist views, like when
Mrs Quasimodo is drawn to the bells but not by the man who rings them:
“He swung an epithalamium for me”, “We had no honeymoon”. However
this could also be part of the social view within this poem about how
you should marry someone who you love, not just for their plus sides
like being able to make beautiful music through the bells that he
loves so much. The bells being given female pet names could be argued
for the feminist view of the poem, also about half way through the
poem Quasimodo “fucked me underneath the gaping stricken bells”, this
personification indicates a woman’s open lips. However when Mrs
Quasimodo kisses the “cold lips of a Queen next to her King” is the
strongest argument for the feminist side of the poem. I believe that
Mrs Quasimodo however is a social poem and not so much a feminist
poem.

“Queen Herod” however is very strongly a feminist poem. This poem is
very anti stereotypical male and so sees no need for men. The
feminist view within this poem starts when the Queens come to give
advice to Queen Herod on the new born baby that will break her
daughter’s heart some day. The Black Queen in particular gives Queen
Herod this intellectual advice, not like in the original tale when it
was the Wise men who were the intellectuals. These Queens are also
seem as God like towards the end as they...

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