Carol Ann Duffy – Medusa

Medusa is told in the first person as a dramatic monologue by a woman who is insecure and worried that her husband is cheating on her. The poem begins: ‘A suspicion, a doubt, a jealousy’ and it is this jealousy which has turned the woman into a gorgon and now everything she looks at turns to stone. Unlike our normal hate feelings towards the Medusa this poem evokes empathy for her as she is clearly distressed and suffering. Especially when she recollects, in the final stanza, the time she was young and beautiful, illustrating her complete lack of confidence.  Nevertheless, she is still presented as a foul character who threatens the reader, with the line ‘Be terrified’. The poem also ends with the line ‘Look at me now’ which has a double meaning. It could be read as a cry of distress or, as a threat as if you did look at Medusa you would die. This leaves the reader feeling conflicting emotions for the character, probably similar to how Medusa herself felt about herself throughout the poem. The poet uses a sibilance in the first two stanzas to create the sound of a hissing snake. Rhetorical questions, ‘Are you terrified?’ are used to involve but also intimidate the reader. The metaphor describing her husband’s heart for a shield suggests that he didn’t love her properly.

Red Riding Cap

How has Carol Ann Duffy rewritten/transformed a known text or story? How can her versions have the same characters, but be “about” something different?

Carol Ann Duffy has used a common and well-known children’s story but has completely changed the meaning of the story. In her version, she has made the story more sexual and more violent with a much deeper meaning. It is her personal experience of having a relationship with an older man. The older man is represented by the wolf, as they are animals that are said to be evil and aggressive because she thinks of her experiences with him as troubling and feels that he took advantage of her lack of maturity. She uses the story of ‘Red Riding Hood’ as a way to tell her story in a way that many people may understand by using a well-known story as well as the same characters. In her version of the story, Red Riding Hood represents herself while the wolf represents the older man whom she had a relationship with and who took advantage of her lack of experience and immaturity.  The grandmother represents her grandmother in real life except in the context of the story the grandmother had been in a similar situation when she was younger and was trying to advise her daughter against falling into the same trap. The forest seems to represent the oppression of the relationship she had with the man and just like in the story when Red Riding Hood’s mother told her not to step off the path, Carol Ann did and this is how she ended up in that type of situation.

What is a Personal Essay?

A personal essay is a broad essay that often incorporates a variety of writing styles. Most personal essay assignments ask writers to write about an important person, event or time period in their life. The goal is to narrate this event or situation in a way that the reader can fully experience and understand.The personal essay has loose structure and conversational tone. It is usually written in the first person. The writer uses self-disclosure, honesty, and truth. The writer can write about any subject, topic, or personal experience.

When Cupid Is a Prying Journalist

  1. What choices have been made to be “good TV”?

Compared to the essay, the episodes have changed some details to maybe attract more viewers and make the story more relatable and interesting. In the essay, it says that the guy kept repeatedly breaking the woman’s heart but however in the episode, it was the woman who broke the guy’s heart when she slept with another guy, this may have been changed, from the essay, as it is more relatable to viewers – it also creates more drama which most viewers enjoy. Another thing they changed from the essay to the episode was the situation they met in, in the essay it mentioned that they had been in love in college but in the episode, it showed that they had met in an interview in which the guy gave up his interview so he could meet up with the woman or else he would have missed her. This may have been done to emphasize how strong the initial attraction was between them, especially for the guy. It also made the viewers feel more sympathy for the guy when he found out she cheated on him.

2. What would you have done differently? Why?

I would have tried to keep most of the details the exact same as they were in the essay because I feel that a story is best said the way it happened in real life. Yes, some details were changed as they were good marketing strategies to help popularise the episodes, but some of the changes in the story made it lose its true essence, in my opinion.



Aunt Julia and The Scriptwriter

If Aunt Julia and The Scriptwriter represent Mario’s two loves (romantic love, literature), then what does the book seem to say is more important to happiness?

In my opinion, I don’t think the book is portraying one love as more important to the other – it is saying that both loves contribute a great amount to his happiness. Sometimes his love for aunt Julia may be more important based on his situation and Vice-Versa, but overall they both matter and amount to his happiness. His love for Aunt Julia is romantic, its something thta brings joy to his life not only when he is with her but also when he thinks about her and their relationship. His love for literature is more like his passion for his job, the thing that motivates him to wake up everyday, go to work and try to make a difference. Both these loves contribute to different aspects of his happiness, but they both equally contribute to his personal happiness.



Activity Reflection 4

Over the past couple of weeks, my schedule has become quite hectic with badminton, squash and track but I thoroughly enjoy all 3 activites. I made it to the A – team in badminton, which I was very pleased with, and we had a match against Dover last week in which we lost but it was really fun to interact and play against our ‘rivals’. All the matches were close but they just edged us out. In track we have been doing intense trainings such as sprinting Intervals and the beep test, all the trainings were quite challenging and they pushed me to the limit but I enjoy being pushed as it is a learning experience. I have been able to manage my busy schedule with studies and hope it continues like this till the end of the year.

Service Reflection 5

Over the past couple weeks we have had new members join our service from grade 9, around 6 of them, and we have lost all 10th grade members of our service due to their upcoming Gcse Final exams. We have been doing ice breakers, such as tug of war or splash/bang, over the last 2 service meets so we can get to know the new members and be able to bond with them. In the last service meet we showed the new members where and how we stored our inventory which consists of glasses, plates, bowls, cutlery and cleaning materials. We taught them how we store it and the amount of times we count them a year, to make sure we haven’t lost any inventory. The new members seem quite interested and excited to be a part of our service and are very keen to learn the main goals and mission statement of our service. I think these new members will come a long way with helping us in events and taking control of the service after we graduate.

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter

1) The Mario Vargas Llosa telling the story is obviously older than the “Marito” who is living it . . . How would you describe the tone? What is the attitude of the narrator to the young man he was? 

Mario Vargas Llosa writes the story as if his younger self was as mature as he is now and the tone stays the same throughout the book. He doesn’t seem to condescend or criticise his younger self and makes it seem as if his younger self made decisions the same we he would now. The tone is quite neutral and he doesn’t seem to disagree with anything.  

2) If every other chapter, basically, represents one of Pedro Camacho’s serials —if they didn’t happen, in other words, what is the point of spending so much time on these characters/events/conflicts?

I think the point of this is to show that Pedro Camacho is quite lonely and to make up for this isolation and loneliness he creates his own world, through his stories, where he is in control and it can be whatever he wants it to be. The stories and characters he makes up are his ‘friends’ and company on a daily basis, they are the people who get him through the day and never stop listening, the people who aren’t too busy to be with him.

3) If a story is basically, “one time, in one place, something happened” then it’s not really literature —it’s journalism or history or maybe even just gossip. Literature is usually thought to express something timeless —something true in a bigger sense. What might this novel be saying about life?

This novel is talking about how one’s life has so much going on, all at once, to the point where people don’t get a break. It shows how life can take you to different and unexpected places and throw unprecedented things at you. This novel really shows how life is timeless and so are the events that occur during life.


Hindi Answers

१) सेवक राम मसीही ईसाई धर्म का प्रचार करते थे|

२) हेडमास्टर कलीराम ने स्कूल मैं बालक ओमप्रकाश को स्कूल के अंदर और बहार झाड़ू लगाने का काम दिया था|

३) लेखक की कहानी “बैल की खाल”  मैं पत्र के मुँह से गाली दिलवाने के कारण हिंदी के कई बड़े लेखकों ने नाक  भौं सिखोड़ी थी|

४) बरला गाँव में कुछ मुस्लमान त्यागी भी थे| त्यागियों को भी तगा  कहते थे| मुस्लमान तगाओं का व्यव्हार भी हिन्दुओं जैसा था| कभी कोई अच्छा साफ़ -सुथरा कपडा पहनकर यदि निकले तो फब्दिया सुन्नी पड़ती थी| ऐसी फब्दिया जो बुझे तीर की तरह भीतर तक उत्तर जाती थी| ऐसा हमेशा होता था| साफ़ सुथरे कपडे पहनकर कक्षा मैं जाओ तो साथ के लड़के कहते , अबे चूड़े का , नए कपड़े पहनकर आया है | मैले -पुराने कपड़े पहनकर  स्कूल जाओ तोह कहते , “अबे चूहड़े के , दूर हट, बदबू आ रही है”|


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