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  • Titill er á ensku Behind Every Great Man There is a Great Woman - An Analysis of the Female Narrative in The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy
  • Bakkalár
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    This essay explores how Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry collection The World’s Wife (1999) engages with the neglected narratives of female characters in historical, mythological and fictional stories. It provides an overview of Duffy’s background, the different elements that influence her work, her style and her previous works. The essay also examines neglected women in the past and how Duffy, by highlighting their narrative in the previously male-centred stories, succeeds in giving them back their voice and consequently their identity. By underlining the women’s narrative, Duffy shows how different perspectives can change a story and how an inclusion of women’s narratives can change one’s perception of historical events or mythological legends. Duffy succeeds in making these stories, despite their distant origin, feel closer to the reader with the use of dramatic monologues and by using simple but effective language. Duffy’s employment of a modern setting for the stories also contributes to the resonance it might have with the modern reader as it creates the notion that these stories are something that might happen today. The ways in which Duffy criticises patriarchal conventions and societies in her poems are discussed while focusing on how Duffy highlights her female characters’ negative feelings about their partners which are used to portray the toxic and hegemonic masculinity. Here Duffy is both criticising the society the original stories took place in and at the same time exploring current societal pressures and conventions that are not as far from the past as one might think. By focusing on stories distant in time, Duffy manages to highlight not only women’s suffering from injustice in the past but also the current problems women face. This she manages to do by focusing on social issues such as gender equality and capitalism within the stories, with humour and well thought out words.

  • 11.1.2021

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