Carol Ann Duffy - Sample Essay

The first two words in stanza three, ‘My first,’ are powerful and they could have multiple reasons. My first could mean her first drink of alcohol, her first love, relationship or even the first time she has had sex, All of these deeds are mostly associated with sixteen year olds and the becoming of an adult, Little red cap may have felt that to become and adult she must perform at least one of these actions to rob her of her innocence and her crystal clear reputation. The two simple words, ‘My first,’ immediately determine her lack of innocence.

This stanza goes on to describe the rest of the night with the wolf informing us that Little Red Caps stockings were ‘ripped to shreds. ‘ Carol Ann Duffy has again used imagery and as the reader I can imagine that Little Red Cap and the Wolf shared a wild, crazy passionate night together. Little Red Cap may have enjoyed this experience, it could have made her fell rebellious and unruly, which again will undoubtedly make her feel grown up and by this point in the poem her innocence has beyond doubt been taken.

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Maybe her intimate relationship with an older man made her feel safe and wanted, she may also felt that because she was in this relationship with an older man that she was more mature, because girls who are in relationships with boys that are a lot older themselves are normally perceived as a lot more grown up and advanced. Possibly every teenaged girl has dreamt or fancied someone older then themselves and thought how good their reputation would be if they were to be in a relationship with this person, Little Red Cap questions this statement in the poem, ‘ What little girl doesn’t dearly love a wolf?

‘ In stanza four Duffy has cleaverly used pure soft colours to reperesent Little Red Caps innocence, for example ‘white dove. ‘ The colour white is normally associated with purity and innocence and a dove is reknowned for being a gentle bird and the bird of peace, but this clear calm image is quicky disrupted and destroyed by the wolf in stanza five. ‘one bite dead. ‘ This makes the reader think that Little red Caps innocence was easily taken, due to the words ‘one bite.

‘ Maybe this was down to Little read Caps vunerability and her age or perhaps this is what she had longed for. Of the wolves maturity may have seemed domineering and may have somewhat bullied her into this deed that cheated her of her innocence. This is also a very short sentence which creates emphasis and makes the sentence prominent and memorable. Towards the end of the poem, Little Red Cap seems to have got to involved and caught up in her affair with the wolf and is looking for an escape.

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