SUFFERING

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What connections have you found between the ways Duffy and Pugh write about suffering?

Suffering is the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship. Suffering is shown in “Standing Female Nude” and “Girl Talking” by Carol Ann Duffy, and “The Capon Clerk” and “Eva and the Roofers” by Sheenagh Pugh. The authors give their poems depth by using different types of suffering in different ways. Duffy and Pugh both create a deep sense of suffering within their characters. However Duffy makes the character a victim of someone else’s suffering, just like Pugh. Ultimately, Duffy shows the inescapable human cruelty within society, by giving someone a voice.

“Standing Female Nude” by Carol Ann Duffy is about the suffering due to exploitation through art. This is because an artist is exploiting a woman. In “Standing Female Nude” a women is being drawn by a man who is paying her a “few francs.” The poem is based on Georges Braques painting of a woman which is entitled “Standing Female Nude.” At the start of this poem Duffy uses “Six hours like this for a few francs” this tells us the location, Paris, as well as showing how underpaid she is, thus her suffering must be high. The colloquial language used “Belly nipple arse” is stream of consciousness. Duffy uses this phrase to highlight her thoughts. All she is thinking about is her naked body that is on display. She is sexualising herself, and imagining what he sees. The use of “he drains the colour from me” is to do with her being painted in browns and dull tones, in Braques painting, yet within relevance to “Standing Female Nude” the vampire like metaphor Duffy uses shows him taking her power therefore her suffering is due to him. Duffy writes “analytically and hung” this is a negative use of morbid diction. It is written as the girl is imagining herself “hung” in a museum or gallery. The use of this is Duffy’s way of displaying that it is okay that he is exploiting her yet her suffering is due to this exploitation.

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