Author: Lily Kronfeld

Voyant Assignment: Deconstructing Duffy’s Diction

Using the Voyant tool collocate clusters, we found several interesting things. Collocate clusters basically takes key search words and accordingly locates surrounding words based on. Out of all our different searches the following was the most fruitful. We looked up words surrounding masculine and feminine pronouns. There was much polarization in the two collections as […] Read more →


Influenced and inspired by Greek mythology, Duffy’s poem “Thetis” is about a sea goddess who changes shape in an attempt to avoid marriage with a mortal named Peleus. However, despite her relentless efforts, Thetis ultimately consents to marriage. Fitting with The World’s Wife prevalent theme of oppressed female figures, Duffy offers the narrative perspective of […] Read more →


“Medusa” is an extended metaphor about the destructive nature of jealousy. According to Greek mythology, Medusa was a female gorgon whose gaze would turn onlookers to stone. Using dramatic monologues to narrate historical and fictional events, this feminist subtext can be traced in many poems within The World’s Wife. By slightly changing the narrative of […] Read more →

Punishing the Infant Jesus

Carol Ann Duffy’s Punishing the Infant Jesus is a very provocative and heretical poem. Inspired by Max Ernst’s polemic painting Young Virgin Spanking the Infant Jesus In Front of Three Witnesses, Duffy offers an unusual take on this prevalent religious theme. Contrary to popular notions where Mary is presented as a venerable pillar of faith, […] Read more →

“Warming her Pearls”

“Warming her Pearls” is about suppressed lesbian desire, in the context of history failing to allow for it. Duffy examines a very interesting relationship between a maid and a mistress. Using a pearl as the vehicle to explore an unrequited love, the symbol acts is an object of much value and desire. Thus, the subject is the […] Read more →

“Leaden circles dissolved in the air…”

Woolf offers much insight in regard to her theory of connection and knowing others. Not only does she comment on explicit seen connections, Woolf also highlights unseen connections that bind people.             Septimus’s death is one of the most important events in the novel. By subtly connecting characters, his action becomes part of a collective […] Read more →