All Representations Are Acts of Manipulation

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Conflicting essay A study of conflicting perspectives can show that all representations are ultimately acts of manipulation. The texts that will be used to support this statement are Ted Hughes’s Birthday Letters and Cat Steven’s song Father and Son. The Ted Hughes poems’ that will be examined are The Minotaur, Sam and Your Paris, these poems will show how to a large extent, that representations are acts of manipulation. Cat Steven’s Father and Son also supports this statement, but to a lesser extent. Both of these texts offer varying conflicting perspectives, which ultimately shape the audiences view of the situation, events and people involved. Conflicting perspectives often arise from bias in the author of a text. This is the case in all of Hughes’s Birthday Letters poems, including The Minotaur. After his wife’s suicide, society blamed Hughes and his unfaithfulness, for the unfortunate death. Hughes uses his poem, The Minotaur, to try to manipulate the audience to see a different view of their marriage, and to make people feel sympathetic towards him. Hughes portrays his wife Sylvia Plath as violent, irrational, and out of control. This is shown in the way he shows her, in lines such as “The mahogany table-top you smashed”. The onomatopoeia of “smashed” further emphasises her violent personality. Later in the poem, Hughes accuses his wife of abandoning her family. The repetition of “you” in the lines “unravelled your marriage, left your children echoing like tunnels in labyrinth, left your mother a dead-end” emphasises the immensely accusatory tone of the poem. These accusations in The Minotaur show that Hughes puts all blame for their failed marriage onto his wife, and is not taking any of the responsibility. Hughes’s view of Plath is a conflicting perspective to society’s view of the couple’s relationship. How Hughes portrays his conflicting perspective
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