Other Sides Of The Stereotypical Cop In "Brooklyn Cop” By Norman Mac Caig

702 words - 3 pages

"Brooklyn Cop” written by Norman MacCaig, a Scottish poet, is about an American cop who roams the streets tackling crime. Our impression of the stereotypical cop changes throughout the poem as we find that he isn’t all that he is made out to be. This essay will look at how the cop is portrayed and the techniques used to give this impression of him.

The first impression we are given of the American cop is that he is a gorilla. The poet states “built like a gorilla.” The poet uses a simile to show that the cop is big built and often scary when on the job, like a gorilla. The cop is also referred to as being thick fleshed in the poem. “thick-fleshed.” This makes the reader think of him as a strong, tough, intimidating person who doesn’t stand for any trouble. Another idea given in the poem about the cop is that he is experienced in his job and has been in trouble before. MacCaig does this by describing two scars on his face. “with two hieroglyphs in his face that mean trouble.” This metaphor that the poet uses gives us an idea that the cop has had a violent past and that future offenders should be scared of him. It gives the reader a clearer image of the stereotype of the brutal American policeman. The cop is also thought of as being steak coloured. This makes the reader think of him as tough and his skin seems rough and that he has been through a lot. “steak coloured.” This also links to him as being a gorilla as he has a red, beaten, steak coloured face. The cop is given a softer image when he talks to his wife. “Hiya Honey is no cliché.” This shows he truly means it as he doesn’t know when he will get to see his wife next. This links to his job as a policeman being dangerous and risky because he doesn’t know what will happen next or whether he will ever get to see his wife again.

For the rest of the poem, the reader...

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