To what extent does Duffy present the body as a key aspect of femal identity

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To What Extent Does Duffy Present The Body As A Key Aspect Of Female Identity? Tragic and disconcerted themes are continued throughout poems of Duffys such as ‘The Map Women’, ‘The Woman Who Shopped’ and ‘The Diet’; Duffy is trying to aggress to the reader the predicaments with the body being used as a key aspect of female identity in modern society. Fractious subjects like anorexia are used to address how extreme the pressures are to be accepted in society

Duffy’s uses ‘The Diet’ alike the ‘The Woman Who Shopped’ to symbolise the lengths women will go to, to feel beautiful or at least be led into the belief they will be. In the poem ‘she stayed near people like a germ’ which indicates to us as a reader that maybe she took on this disease all in aid of gaining more social acceptance, but incidentally it has had an adverse effect. The use of ‘germ’ is a powerful simile, as germs have connotations of being irritating and inhumane, which leads me to believe that Duffy is trying to express the way how a woman appears, affects the way in which she is treated. It highlights the way some women feel that being identified as being attractive can raise your prominence in society – we can be led into false pretences that attractiveness can be emulated in personality; but sometimes attractive people don’t always possess stereotypically attractive personality traits like benevolence or thoughtfulness. Although I believe the ‘anorexia’ could be an extended metaphor for this woman changing her appearance, the ‘shrinking’ weight being her metaphorical ‘self’ being lost and the ‘fat woman trying to get out’ symbolising her real identity being trapped by this false persona. If this was the case then I believe Duffy would be trying to say that ‘appearance’ isn’t always the key to identity, women are very good at deceiving people as they can counterfeit different identities by simply changing their hair/makeup/clothes. This implies that the body is not always ‘the key’ to a...
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