Mean Time and Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy: Love is not Eternal

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In ‘Mean Time’ by Carol Ann Duffy an important idea is time having power over love we do not have the power to change or go back in time therefore we have to value both the good and bad times. Carol Ann Duffy shows this through the narrative perspective of first person allowing readers to sympathize and connect with the narrator and help understand the situation. Another poem by Carol Ann Duffy is ‘Valentine’ an important idea is love by portraying a more truthful and down to earth view of love. Duffy shows us how it is important by the use of extended metaphor throughout the poem by comparing the onion to love. Both these poems share a common idea of exploring love in different ways and showing that love may not always be happy and that it also brings sadness because love is not eternal.

In the poem Mean Time the main idea is about the power time has over people, no one can control time therefore you have to learn to appreciate all the time you have, so there are no regrets in the future. This poem talks about the end of a relationship as it is symbolized by the season autumn, this is when the clocks are turned back an hour. Autumn has the connotation of loss, coldness and everything coming to an end which leads to feeling the loss of love, home, and belonging. This links to the title ‘Mean Time’ which suggests time being cruel by stealing away her time because of her lack of control of time and lack of care for the relationship making the break up seem unexpected, this resulted to regret and guilt as the narrator wishes she could turn back time however there is no way to go back in time once again showing her inability against time because of the impossibility for time to rewind. The title can also mean the pain the narrator is going through is only ‘in the mean time’ however she does not see this. She realizes that her mistakes are unmendable and beyond her control but does not see that the unmendable rain will eventually stop. The narrator is caught in...
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