Carol Ann Duffy: Poems

Men, Women, and Representation in Duffy's ‘The Worlds Wife’. College

Carol Ann Duffy wrote 'The World's Wife' in order to scrutinize the representation of both men and women, inspired by her strong feminist views -- reconstructing, for example, many of the 'voiceless women' from throughout history. As Duffy expressed it; 'like sand and the oyster it's a creative irritant. In each poem, I'm trying to reveal a truth, so it can't have a fictional beginning' [1]. Her aim was to show that oppression within society towards the genders is a consistent battle, and she presents these views through the use of traditional fairy-tale events. Duffy challenges notions surrounding the representation of women in literature; through this project, she subverts the traditional stereotypes and representations of both genders as shown in the poems 'Little Red-Cap', 'The Devil’s Wife', and 'Anne Hathaway'.

With each one of her creations, Duffy successfully confronts traditional representations of men and women, particularly as she shows many frequently misrepresented females within literature, portraying them as newly powerful and prevailing. For example, in the poem 'Little Red- Cap', inspired by the traditional fairy tale 'Little Red Riding Hood', the narrator initiates the danger for herself as she 'made quite...

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