Stealing- Carol Ann Duffy

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“Show how the poet explores the themes of Isolation and loneliness, and to what extent your appreciation of the theme was deepened by the poet’s treatment?”

Stealing is one of the many Carol Ann Duffy poems in which the themes of isolation and loneliness are explored. The poem is about a person who has nothing to live for, because of this they have fallen into a life of stealing items that are worthless and have no sentimental meaning to them, the thief steals simply because they and get a thrill out of doing so (this particular poem is about the stealing of a snowman). The character finds it amusing to steal peoples’ belongings that have a creative aspect to them like: a guitar, a “bust of Shakespeare” a camera and a snowman. The poem was composed in the 1980’s, which were a time of unemployment and depression for England and also a time of technological advancement this could be the motivation behind the unusual things that are being stolen. However the belongings do not have significant value. Duffy’s treatment that she presents in Stealing also helped to deepen my appreciation for the poem. Her use of tone, imagery and diction that occurs in the poem all help to convey the themes to the audience more thoroughly and make them more apparent and therefor helping one to appreciate and understand the true themes of the poem.

The exploration of the themes loneliness and isolation are portrayed in Stealing through a number of different ways, one in which is through the use of imagery. Imagery is a key element to the poem and is conveyed in an assorted of unique ways. In the third stanza the metaphor “I’m a mucky ghost” is used suggesting that the character has been separated from humanity and is possibly even dead to society. The use of the word mucky evokes that he leaves a mess behind him and is uncaring for other people and their property indicating that he does not have any friends or family that would suffer from him participating in these high- risk...
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