For Each of Your Studied Texts, Analyse How Symbolism Was Used to Develop a Main Theme.

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The two poems ‘Valentine’ by Carol Ann Duffy and ‘A Woman to her lover’ by Christine Walsh both share the main theme of love and the perfect relationship or valentine’s gift. Each poet has used vivid symbolism to express their true feelings on this theme. Duffy has effectively described how love is like an onion, whereas Walsh has described her ideal relationship by using symbolic metaphors. ‘Valentine’ is a poem about the ideal gift to receive on Valentine’s Day. Most people would not associate an onion to being a symbol of love. A rose is more commonly known to perhaps symbolise the beauty of the person that is receiving it. However Duffy has successfully matched the aspects of love to the properties of an onion. She has turned an ordinary dull object into a romantic gift that she feels represents love so much more than “A red rose or a satin heart.” Duffy has also compared an onion as being like “A moon wrapped in brown paper”. The moon is a romantic symbol in its own right, being seen as feminine and luminous. The brown paper is hiding the moon, but when it is unwrapped “it promises light” and beauty. Duffy is saying that love has both a positive and negative side. Duffy has used many symbols to develop the main theme of love. She has expressed her beliefs throughout the poem by using these symbols that love is not perfect which is reinforced with lines such as “It will blind you with tears, like a lover” and “its scent will cling to your fingers, cling to your knife”. This is reminding us that love can be hurtful and dangerous; that just like a knife that cuts an onion, love can cut through our hearts and emotions. It is not all about “Cute cards or a kissogram” but “possessive and faithful...for as long as we are”. Duffy explains that “she is trying to be truthful” and realistic, about how she truly feels about love and life. ‘A woman to her lover’ is about what Christine Walsh sees in a true relationship. By using different symbols, Walsh has described to...
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