Carol Ann Duffy: Poems

A Comparison of Before You Were Mine and Pluto 11th Grade

In both Before You Were Mine and Pluto, Duffy uses characters to present different viewpoints of the past and present. In Before You Were Mine, the past is seen to be tangible and physical as the character of the narrator's mother is heavily described, whereas in Pluto the character grieves for his past and his family.

In Before You Were Mine, Duffy makes the character of the narrator's young mother come alive in the present day, by making time aphysical distance. The narrator is "ten years away from the corner you laugh on", and this metaphor places the narrator in the same time period as their mother. It creates a closeness between them as the narrator enhoys their mother's youth as they "shriek at the pavement", and it is like a snap-shot of the past that romanticises the mother as a "Marilyn" Monroe figure in their life, "glamorous" and "bold". The posessive tone Duffy uses in the title ("MIne") shows how the narrator wants to be a part of their mother's life even before they were born, but ultimately demonstrates their close bond.

Similarly, Duffy presents time as fluid and fluctuating through the character in Pluto. She indents the second stanza, which demonstrates that the character's thought process is jumbled and...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 944 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7602 literature essays, 2153 sample college application essays, 318 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in