Carol Ann Duffy's Use Of Dramatic Monologue

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Tan Jing Jie 1AD1 Question 7 : Discuss Duffy’s use of the dramatic monologue with specific reference to two or three poems. The significance of dramatic monologue lies in the need for the listener, or reader for most cases, to complete the scene from within, through inference and imagination. Duffy manages to show readers her points of view through employing dramatic monologue in a firsthand narration by the personas. In poems such as Stafford afternoons , Dear Norman and Girl Talking, there is a difference between reality and what is actually revealed by the persona, developing a sense of indeterminacy for the reader to make their own guesses as to what actually occurred in the poems. Themes addressed would include childhood, feminism and patriarchy in these poems. Both the poems Girl Talking and Stafford afternoons includes usage of dramatic pause to express childhood. In Girl Talking, Duffy uses many dramatic pauses within the poem to give the reader a sense of the childishness and lack of articulation skills of the persona. Much of the poem is a thought stream without much flow and difficult to make sense, with two pauses ‘Something happened. We think it was pain.’ in the second line alone. While dramatic pauses are largely used to emphasize on a point, Duffy has used it instead to depict the brief thoughts of the narrator and the simplicity of the child. Another example would be ‘We paint our hands. We visit. We take each other money.’ Where the narrator is scarcely telling a story but sounds more like a child rambling and trying to piece together what she sees and experiences. In contrast, Duffy uses dramatic pause significantly in the second last stanza of Stafford afternoons where the words ‘Too late.’ Signify the quickening of the pace in the

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