“Brooklyn Cop” written by Scottish poet Norman McCaig, is a poem that conveys a police officer in Brooklyn to be an aggressive yet affectionate man. Throughout the poem McCaig uses word choice and imagery techniques to express the dual sided nature of the cop. We see that the way he behaves on the streets of Brooklyn contrasts with how he is at home with his wife. The dual sided nature of the cop is shown through the physical description that McCaig uses to convey him. McCaig does this with the use of imagery and word choice. In the poem the line ‘Built like a gorilla’ shows through the use of simile, the tough exterior of the cop and gives the reader a clear view on what his physical appearance is like. The comparison of the cop to a gorilla is effective as it shows the cop’s top heavy, muscular build and strength, meaning he could be potentially dangerous and violent like a gorilla. McCaig also shows in the metaphor ‘with two hieroglyphs on his face that mean trouble’ that his eyes are dark and fierce, causing the reader to believe that he is naturally a violent person. This is also conveyed in the line ‘Thick fleshed, steak coloured’ in which the use of metaphor conveys the physical appearance of the cop as ‘thick fleshed’ which shows that the cop is tough and can take a lot of abuse, along with ‘Steak coloured’ which shows the colour of skin associating it with the colour red to suggest he is red with fury and anger naturally. This highlights on his personality and the environment he works in where it is appropriate to be tough and brutal in order to cope. The dangerous environment in which the cop works shows how he has to be a violent person in order to cope in these rough areas and the people he will encounter. In the line ‘He walks the sidewalk and the thin tissue over violence’ the metaphor is affective as it shows the potential of criminal acts that could take part on the streets of Brooklyn and the threat that violence could erupt at any...
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