Shooting Star – Carol Ann Duffy
The poem 'Shooting Stars' by Carol Ann Duffy tells a shocking story of a female prisoner held by Nazis in a concentration camp around the time of the Holocaust. The poem is set in 1940, Hitler and his Nazi party had taken control of most of Europe and had vowed to exterminate the entire Jewish race. Duffy's haunting use of imagery and word choice make this poem so memorable and its very strong opening prepares the reader for the rest of the poem. The title choice, 'Shooting Stars' is a very effective and ambiguous. The first meaning is that the word ‘Stars’ represents the Jewish symbol in which is The Star of David. Jewish people were forced to wear them on their clothes to mark them out as targets of abuse and torment for Nazis. Another possible meaning of the title is metaphorically symbolising a literal shooting star and comparing it to the life of the Jewish prisoners. The Jews' life is similar to the shooting star in the way that their life and potential was bright and brilliant but was cut short. The title stays with the reader and is reinforced by its clever use of alliteration and also reinforces the fact that any death, no matter how small, is still heroic and brave. The poem begins with "After I no longer speak they break our fingers to salvage my wedding ring". Duffy opens the poem by using shock tactics which catch the reader’s attention and also prepares us for the rest of the poem. This spoken by a dead Jewish woman is a shocking description telling how the Germans would take anything valuable off the Jewish women and how they value jewellery more than human life. The word "Salvage" is usually used to mean saving useful parts of something which is being disposed of, the associations of this word clearly indicates the lack of respect and care the Germans had for the dead Jewish bodies. The persona comes across as a heroine, for the reader because she attempts to give the reader a list of the...
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