English Literature Poetry exam 2013

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In both The Manhunt, by Simon Armitage and Quickdraw by Carol Ann Duffy, the poets use similar language techniques to express the character’s feelings. The main theme in both poems is the breakdown of a couple’s relationship and the stresses and emotions this breakdown puts the two people under. In The Manhunt, Armitage clearly expresses that the couple’s relationship has been damaged by the husband’s personal experiences whilst at war. These experiences have had a severe effect on the man’s personality and his physical health. This in turn has had an effect on the relationship. Unlike The Manhunt, in Quickdraw the couple are not in danger of ruining their relationship because of something that has happened to one of them. It is damaged because of the hurtful things they have been saying to one another. Duffy clearly states that one of the reasons for this is due to the use of the mobile phone.
The structure in Manhunt is used for a particular purpose. The continuous use of short, two line stanzas not only reflects the fragility and weakness of the relationship, it also shows the wife’s actions to try and control her husband. The broken up look of the poem implies that the couple’s relationship has been ripped to pieces and the couple are trying to piece it back together. Also, in each stanza, the first line is normally something that the wife is trying to do to heal her husband in some way, “mind and attend”, and the second line is normally deciding the extent of the husband’s wounds “the fractured rudder of shoulder blade”.
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