How Far Can We Sympathise with the Policeman in Norman Maccaig’s Brooklyn Cop Essay

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How Far can we sympathise With the Policeman in Norman MacCaig’s Brooklyn Cop In the poem ‘Brooklyn cop’ MacCaig portrays the cop as loyal to Brooklyn, even though Brooklyn is a dangerous place. He could easily get injured or killed every day and is in constant peril. “Whose home is a place that he might, this time, never come back to?” This is a question as it is uncertain if he will be killed or not and is never sure he will come home. “This time” shows that this is a daily danger. This makes us gain respect and sympathy for the cop as it shows he puts his life on the line to protect others and cares about the people of Brooklyn more than his own life. “He walks the sidewalk and the thin tissue over violence” MacCaig has used a metaphor to imply that Brooklyn is a dangerous place. It shows that although the city may look civilised and okay on the surface the “tissue” could easily rip and the city could descend into violence. Tissues are also translucent which implies that the violence is always there lurking just out of site and is omnipresent. This means that the cop has to tread very carefully as one wrong move could cause violence to break out and he is aware of this. This makes us sympathise for him as there is a lot of pressure on him to try and keep this tissue undamaged and to not break it himself. Violence can also occur anywhere in Brooklyn. “What clubbings, what gunshots between Phoebe’s whamburger and Louie’s place.” MacCaig uses enjambment here to show that the violence can break out quickly and suddenly anywhere. Restaurants are usually where you go eat and be entertained. If violence is breaking out there then nowhere is safe from the violence. This again makes us sympathise with the cop as it show how hard his job is as he has to be prepared for anything and there is no way of predicting the violence he just know it will always happen. “Whamburger”

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