Duffy's Use of Voices, with Links to Pugh.

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“It is the way Duffy’s characters speak, their individual voices that make the poems so convincing.” Discuss the ways in which Duffy uses “voices” in her poetry. Refer to at least two of Duffy’s poems in your answer. Duffy portrays the theme and use of “voices” in many, if not all of her poems. She does this very differently in all of her poems, even if these poems happen to be similar in theme or setting; for example, ‘Comprehensive’ and ‘Education for Leisure’ as both contain themes of education and feminism (girls vs. boys). Within her poem ‘Comprehensive’, Duffy shows the barriers of a multicultural society and the title itself appears to be very ambiguous and ‘all-inclusive’. For the majority of readers the title would suggest this poem to be about education, ever since comprehensive schools were formed in the 1970’s. Duffy has written this poem as a monologue of the voices of seven students that couldn’t be more different, talking about a ‘Comprehensive’ school in England, where in each stanza a new student is introduced with their own individual intellectual standards. The poem begins with an account from and African student whose language appears to be very simple and monosyllabic and therefore suggests that he and his family can’t have been in the country for very long. ‘My mother says you will like it when we get our own house’, gives the reader the generalised view of the stereotypical immigrant, living in a council house and strongly missing their home in Africa. The fact that they are immigrants and living in a council house shows the welfare state in postcolonial Britain that in turn turned Britain into a multicultural society. This factor becomes very important throughout this poem because it was the mass immigration that influenced the use of racism in British life. The second student, Wayne, is a stereotypical British boy who also

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