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How Far Do You Agree That Carol Anne Duffy Presents A Cynical View Of Love And Marriage In “The Worlds Wife”?

1406 words - 6 pages

How far do you agree that Carol Anne Duffy presents a cynical view of love and marriage in “The Worlds Wife”?

I completely agree that in “The Worlds Wife” Carol Anne Duffy presents a critical view of love and marriage. She presents the reader with an array of relentless and unapologetically feminist poems consisting of a large number of personas, who are witheringly contemptuous of the men they have ended up with, generally inadequate, self-obsessed and immature. Each poem carrying an implicit message of feminine virtues governed by the somewhat scorn of women. However I feel that Rather than directly criticize the institutions of love and marriage, Carol Anne Duffy is criticizing the ...view middle of the document...

”In The final line of the poem she says “Let the less-loving one be me, representing the fact that she believes that by loving her husband and showing signs of any type of emotion she will lose her dominant position in their marriage. I feel that it is this line that Duffy is criticizing the “Bourgeois feminist’ attitude that it is only through counter-dominance that the female ego can resist oppression from the male ego in marriage. Rather than solving the problem this is further aggravating it by generating a status quo.

One of Carole Anne Duffy’s most important critiques of the social dogmas surrounding love and marriage is the way that they have become part of a larger more materialistic lifestyle. In Mrs. Faust, Mr. and Mrs. Faust symbolize the “ideal” modern couple. They are well educated “flourished academically BA.ME.Ph.D.” rich “Fast cars. A boat with sails. A second home in Wales” and high up the social ladder, “Safe seat.MP.Right Hon.KG.”However one thing they lack is any type of emotional or sexual intimacy.Mr Faust spends more time trying to improve his reputation,”Vice-chairman.Chairman.Owner.Lord.” and satisfying his sexual needs with whores “He went to whores,”than with his wife. His relationship with his wife and their marriage is just another accessory to his lifestyle it’s just another trophy. Duffy emphasizes this by using short verses and small stanzas, giving the reader the impression of an I’m too fast for life “flew faster than the speed of sound” sort of lifestyle. The majority of the poem is a listing of the different titles “Cardinal,Pope”,treatments “Feng Shui,therapy,colonic irrigation “and toys “yacht, jet” the two have acquired, their marital relationship is rarely mentioned showing its unimportance.Mrs Faust even admits that she “grew to love the lifestyle not the life”, giving the reader an insight into the fact that although she possesses’ all sorts of materials of intrinsic value deep down she is unhappy.Mr and Mrs. Faust are only husband and wife on a piece of paper but emotionally they are completely separated “He went to whores I felt, not jealousy but chronic irritation. This quote shows this through the fact that him cheating on her does not bother her but rather annoys her.”In stanza Mr. Faust is described as being taken away by the devil to which he has sold his soul “For all these years of gagging for it, going for it, rolling in it, I’ve sold my soul.”I fell that the soul in this sense represents MrFaust’s emotions, expressing the fact that years of living a materialistic lifestyle have left Faust with no emotions, and the devil represents the “modern lifestyle”.Mrs Faust’s reaction to this also epitomizes the emotional disparity between the two, as she continues her materialistic life”C’est la vie” (its part of the lifestyle) and Faust’s absence does not affect her life, as he never had any significant role in it.

The notion that the role of love within marriage is disappearing and the...

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