An Analysis of Shooting Star by Carol Ann Duffy
By Lucy Johnson
Will we ever truly be able to comprehend the atrocities that took place in concentration camps during WWII? Shooting Stars by Carol-Ann Duffy is a poem that highlights the bravery, brutality and hardship that Jewish women had to endure in such camps through the voice of a deceased Jewish women. Through literary techniques such as Duffy’s meaningful word choice, haunting imagery, and punctuation Duffy is able to give a moving account of not only suffering in concentration camps but the bravery that we often don’t consider.
The title Shooting Stars is both thought provoking and powerful. Literally it talks about shooting stars, which are beautiful and rare stars that flash across the sky towards its death. This can be seen as a metaphor for life itself and more importantly the life of all the Jewish people that perished. Their lives were beautiful and each special in their own way, however, like a shooting star flying across the sky quickly came to an end. This title therefore highlights many important themes and discussions before the poem has even begun. Carol Ann Duffy continues her thoughtful word choice in Stanza one of the poem in the first line with “they break our fingers”. The word break has a harsh and brutal sound to it giving it an onomatopoeic sound. Secondly in Stanza one line two there is the line “ to salvage my wedding ring”. Salvage has the connotation of theft, and when understanding the full sentence “ they break our fingers/ to salvage my wedding ring”, one is able to understand Duffy is implying the idea that guards are greedy thieves that put more importance upon the rings on a human being. Likewise in the final lines of stanza one, “beneath the gaze of men’s with guns”, reinforces this idea that guards thought they were above the prisoners. In the second stanza, Duffy turns the perspective from I to you to introduce the idea that other prisoners were part of...
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