Hannah Rose Watson
Standard Grade English Folio: Reading
A Critical Evaluation of “Shooting Stars” by Carol Ann Duffy “Shooting Stars,” by Carol Ann Duffy is a poem that explores the theme of tragedy through the writer’s creation of haunting imagery and tells a story, like no other. Using techniques such as imagery, enjambment, structure and form, Duffy invites the reader to contemplate the Jewish victims of the Holocaust in World War II and to warn against the dangers of forgetting such a crime. This poem recounts the horrific ordeal of a dead Jewish woman who was a witness of the crimes of the Holocaust. As she speaks her story from deep down in her heart, she makes the reader aware of the pain and suffering her race endured as well as the courage it took for her and the other six million of her race to say that they were Jewish. The writer conveys the theme of tragedy in a powerful way through the title “Shooting Stars.” Here Duffy has employed word choice and metaphors to represent the annihilation of outstanding people. The writer’s uses the word “Shooting” indicates to the reader someone is terminated by a gun shot and “Stars” is a metaphor that symbolising the Jewish people as their symbol is the Star of David. Although it could be argued that the writer chose this title because when a Nazi soldier shot a Jew in head, the bullet would leave a star shaped wound. As a result of this Carol Ann Duffy has, in just two words, skilfully reminded the reader of the magnitude of the persecuted Jews. The theme of tragedy is further enhanced through the device of form as the poem is written in the form of a dramatic monologue. This is understood in stanza one, line one: “After I no longer speak,” impressively highlights the fact Duffy has adopted the role of a dead Jewish woman telling the reader her horrific story from beyond her terrible mass grave. The writer has successfully made this woman a heroine as she gives...
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