Power Shifts in Queen Kong
The poem presents the reader with a power shift from male to female but could also highlight that the story is not simply restricted to a male perspective. In this light, Duffy is, like in ‘Mrs Midas’, highlighting how certain members of society are exploited and how, despite popular belief, women often have control over men. This is reinforced when Queen Kong states how he is “my (her) little man”. This reveals her affection towards the man but also significantly displays his physical inferiority. The use of the possessive pronoun “my” again possibly reveals her care for the man but also possibly signifies her ownership of the man and thus shows how she is control.
Duffy’s use of humour is also apparent throughout this poem. This is evident when the people in the village do not hear because they are “used to strangers”-The image of a gorilla walking the streets and no one noticing is completely absurd. There is a further element of humour when Queen Kong states how she is “especially fond of pastrami on rye”. Here, Duffy is satirising the Bohemian lifestyle. This comic effect is also conveyed in stanza 7 when Queen Kong states “I was discreet, prowled those streets in darkness”. Additionally the notion of her going shopping without anyone noticing adds to the absurdity of the idea and the image of a huge gorilla walking through a shop adds to comical effect Duffy is trying to create.
The animalistic instincts and desires of Queen Kong are notable on several occasions in the poem. “The long nights in the heat” reveal her physical reaction and emphasises her animalistic behaviour in that it is her natural instinct to mate. The way Queen Kong explicitly reveals how she “put the tip of (her) tongue to the grape of his flesh” again emphasises her animalistic behaviour with the alliteration stressing how they went straight to having sex. This accentuates the idea that it was lust and not romance that brought them to have sex. – Queen Kong just using