Amy Asher AS Poetry Mrs Lawrence
What connections have you found between the ways in which Duffy and Pugh write about social problems? In your response, you must include detailed critical discussion of at least two of Duffy's poems.
Education for Leisure, ridicules the government and education. Writing during the 1980's employment rates were exceedingly high and Duffy talks of society in a critical way. Another poem by Duffy, Making Money, is a poem by Carol Ann Duffy which satirises society's obsession with money, and criticises what lengths people will go to for material goods. Similarly, poet Sheenagh Pugh also reflects the problems in society in her poem Birmingham Navigation Graffiti by presenting the setting of the city and the people that live there in a repulsive manner.
Duffy undoubtedly criticises the political role of society in her poem Education for Leisure and uses satire and irony to portray the sort of society Thatcher's government was shaping.
The juxtaposition in the title of 'education' with 'leisure' highlights how the system fails leaving young people unemployed. Education for Leisure is written in the form of a dramatic monologue, from the point of view of a young person, who has presumably left school and is on unemployment benefit as "once a fortnight" he will walk into town "for signing on". In the first stanza Duffy portrays the speaker of the poem to be frightening and disturbed; foreshadowing his capability of carry out truly terrible acts. The first line of the poem reads "Today I am going to kill something. Anything.", possibly reflecting destructive, angry, and desperate nature of some unemployed in member of society, but to the extreme. Furthermore, the speaker describes he is "going to play God", and later there is another religious reference when he flushes the "goldfish...