“Write about the ways Auden tells the story in the poetic piece ‘Miss Gee’?”
Through the ballad of ‘Miss Gee’ Auden tells the story of the character Miss Edith Gee this is achieved in a variety of ways. The poetic piece is a ballad intended to be read to the tune of ‘St James’ Infirmary’. Auden has created a regular pattern of quatrains as well as a regular rhythm which progresses the general flow of the poem and creates the atmosphere of a story for the reader. The initial exposition is extremely sympathetic towards Miss Gee. “Now let me tell you a little story about Miss Edith Gee” is a cruel way to open the narrative as Auden instantly belittles her character and makes her seem insignificant, whereas she is actually the main, if not only character we meet in detail. This technique is effectives the reader then feels that she is insignificant, and although it is she who lends her name to the poem, is an outcast and a quiet individual. She is continually referred to as small, further lowering the impressions of the character to the reader. Auden establishes the setting of the poem in the introductory stanza, as would be done in a story “She lived in Clevedon Terrace/ At Number 83”. This is an ordinary address and place for the poem to be set it, this in turn establishes the normality and average attributes of Miss Gee showing her character as one of no complexity. The further repetition of ‘Clevedon Terrace’ in the poem is a constant reminder from Auden to the reader to always bring them back to the fact that the character Miss Gee is intended to be average and ordinary just like any other individual. Miss Gee’s appearance is made apparent by Auden in the third stanza “She’d a velvet hat with trimmings,/And a dark grey serge costume;” “purple...green” this description of Miss Gee’s clothing is very ironic as lots of colours are present but on a colourless character. Auden may have intended this imagery to be seen as symbolism of Miss Gee’s persona how she...
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