Friday, May 31, 2019
Carol Ann Duffys Revision of Masculinist Representations of Female Ide
sing Ann Duffys Revision of Masculinist Representations of Female IdentityCarol Ann Duffy is one of the freshest and bravest talents to emerge in British poetry any poetry for years, writes Eavan Boland (Duffy, 1994, cover). This courage is unpatterned in Duffys ability and desire to revise masculinist representations of female identity and her engagement with feminine discourse, a concept which, as Sara Mills points out has travel away from viewing women as simply an oppressed group, as victims of male domination, and has tried to formulate ways of analysing power as it manifests itself and as it is resisted in the dealings of everyday life. (p.78)It is these aspects of Duffys work that I wish to address here by examining the ways in which she subverts masculinist assumptions and discourses in the following ways by giving vocalise to previously marginalised or silenced figures, by re-presenting stereotypes and power relations, through comic reappropriation of myth and by re-wri ting the canonical love poem.The problematic nature of representation itself, its subjectiveness and unreliability, is a central concern of Duffys poetry. Much of her work is written in the form of dramatic monologue which serves to demonstrate the fundamental inadequacy of language to re-present by undermining the readers expectations of traditional discourses. By using characters voices rather than her own, Duffy identifies with the speaker and confers authority onto a voice which might otherwise be silent. The foregrounding of this voice becomes a essence of demonstrating the failure of language to represent specific aspects of experience, particularly female experience. The monologue, by giving voice to the previously subjugated female ... ...t, New York. Works CitedDuffy, Carol Ann, Standing Female Nude (London Anvil, 1985)., Selling Manhattan (London Anvil, 1987)., The Other Country (London Anvil, 1990)., Selected Poems (London Penguin, 1994)., The Worlds Wife (London Picado r, 1999).Gregson, Ian, Carol Ann Duffy Monologue as dialogue in Contemporary Poetry and Postmodernism Dialogue and Estrangement (Basingstoke MacMillan, 1996).Lacan, Jacques, The Insistence of the Letter in the Unconscious in David Lodge, (ed.), Modern Criticism and Theory A Reader (London Longman, 1988).Mills, Sara, Discourse (London Routledge, 1997).Pass Notes, Guardian G2, 10 may 1999, p.3.Room, Adrian, (ed.), Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (London Cassel & Co, 2001).Viner, Katharine, Metre Maid, Guardian Weekend, 25 September 1999, pp.2026.