Essay on Carol Ann Duffy and Liz Lochhead Explore Memories

Words: 1152
Pages: 5

Compare and contrast how Duffy and Lochhead explore memories

Both Carol Ann Duffy and Liz Lochhead provide an exploration of their childhood memories, and how these memories have changed and developed with age into analysis of social expectations of men and women in the 1960's. In Duffys poem Litany and Lochheads poem 1953, both poets reflect on their childish perceptions of their parents conformity to social convention. Duffy and Lochhead excellently implement a dramatic monologue form to convey their feelings towards their parents conventional roles within the home. In Duffys Litany, the poem is narrated by Duffys younger self who naively recounts women obsessed with social class and identity. The irregularity of the
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leukaemia, which no one could spell". In the simile "hard as the bright stones in engagement rings" Duffy emphasises her disapproval of the expectations placed on marriage, that it is no longer a unity between two people who love each other but rather another tool to help these women adhear to social convention and become clones of one another, never doing anything unique or individual. Duffys powerful metaphor in the third stanza "the year a mass grave of wasps bobbed in a jam jar; a butterfly stammered itself in my curious hands" divulges how from a young age Duffy felt different, a butterfly amongst wasps desperate to spread her wings and escape the social conventions that govern her mothers and many other women's lives in the 60's. Right through "1953" Lochheads use of language and imagery is masterful in depicting her adoration of her parents, and her appreciation towards the work they put into their home. Lochhead brilliantly appeals to the readers sences in the first stanza,"clay-heavy wet yellow earth to clods that stank of clay and were marbled with worms and rubble". This highly depictive description makes it seem as though Duffy is telling us a story and the reader is transported to that place and can smell the clay and feel the "wet yellow earth". Duffys