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The Diet Carol Ann Duffy. A surreal tale about a woman’s battle with anorexia. The tone is fantastical and becomes bizarre as she shrinks into a “germ”

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Presentation on theme: "The Diet Carol Ann Duffy. A surreal tale about a woman’s battle with anorexia. The tone is fantastical and becomes bizarre as she shrinks into a “germ”"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Diet Carol Ann Duffy

2 A surreal tale about a woman’s battle with anorexia. The tone is fantastical and becomes bizarre as she shrinks into a “germ” size.

3 The surreal fantasy alludes to the deluded state of mind of an anorexic. The fantastical elements reflect the detachment from reality which anorexia sufferers endure.

4 The ending is ambiguous in its meaning, reflecting how anorexia is never really “cured” and can always return to haunt the sufferer.

5 “she”

6 the lack of name reflects how common an issue dieting and anorexia is for women in modern society. “she”

7 “No sugar, salt, dairy, fat, protein starch, alcohol.”

8 The prefix of “No” reminds the reader of the modern obsession with fad diets. “No sugar, salt, dairy, fat, protein starch, alcohol.”

9 The prefix of “No” reminds the reader of the modern obsession with fad diets. “No sugar, salt, dairy, fat, protein starch, alcohol.” Also the long list of what is excluded from the diet emphasises to the reader how diets often exclude important nutritious food groups.

10 “she starved on, stayed in, stared in” sibilance

11 makes the reader salivate reminding them of the hunger she must feel “she starved on, stayed in, stared in” and simultaneously hinting at her own desire and enjoyment of the starvation. sibilance

12 The language of the second stanza then becomes fairly shocking as the imagery hints at death and suffering:

13 “Her skeleton preened under its tight flesh dress”.

14 The language of the second stanza then becomes fairly shocking as the imagery hints at death and suffering: “Her skeleton preened under its tight flesh dress”. metaphor

15 The language of the second stanza then becomes fairly shocking as the imagery hints at death and suffering: “Her skeleton preened under its tight flesh dress”. This reminds the reader of the horror that is anorexia. metaphor

16 The horror is reinforced by “She was anorexia’s true daughter”

17 The horror is reinforced by “She was anorexia’s true daughter” Personification

18 The horror is reinforced by “She was anorexia’s true daughter” reflects the hold it has on people, it also hints at how Anorexia victims obsess with weight and begin to only find comfort in their deepening condition. Personification

19 Surreal turn

20 “seed small” “a germ”

21 Surreal turn “seed small” absurd “a germ”

22 Surreal turn “seed small” The ludicrous description of the shrinking emphasises the ludicrously horrific nature of the condition. absurd “a germ”

23 The final line

24 “inside the fat woman now, trying to get out”

25 The final line “inside the fat woman now, trying to get out” ambiguous and unclear

26 The final line “inside the fat woman now, trying to get out” But it reminds the reader of the clichéd saying “I’m a thin person trapped in fat person’s body”, while alluding to the fact that anorexia is rarely beaten and always lives on in the minds of its victims. ambiguous and unclear

27 The final line “inside the fat woman now, trying to get out” But it reminds the reader of the clichéd saying “I’m a thin person trapped in fat person’s body”, while alluding to the fact that anorexia is rarely beaten and always lives on in the minds of its victims. ambiguous and unclear

28 The poem’s structure is interesting as each stanza finishes with a short line, this is then followed with the first line of the next stanza indenting to where the previous has ended. This structure visually suggests a continuation from stanza to stanza, reflecting her continued starvation and as the poem allows no space to pause, so her starvation is continuous.

29 The poem is written in free verse, avoiding any rhyme or rhythm. The lack of conformity reflects the main character’s rejection of reality to follow her obsession with dieting and losing weight.


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