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‘Havisham’ Learning Objective:

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1 ‘Havisham’ Learning Objective:
To be able to explore and explain the way in which relationships are presented through language in ‘Havisham.’

2 Higher grade criteria A Evaluate and imagine
You weigh up how effective the method is. You use your own judgements and invent your own ways of looking at a poem. B Analyse You delve deeper into the poet’s methods. You examine them as if under a microscope. C Explore You investigate and look at points in detail. You see that there is more to discover.

3 Background Miss Havisham is a character from ‘Great Expectations’;
She is jilted by her scheming fiancé before they are married; She remains in her wedding dress for the rest of her life whilst plotting her revenge on all men.


5 Stanza 1 ‘dark green pebbles for eyes’

6 Stanza 2 ‘trembling if I open the wardrobe’

7 Stanza 3 ‘Some nights better’

8 Stanza 4 ‘A red balloon bursting…’ ‘A white veil.’

9 Beloved sweetheart bastard. Not a day since then
I haven’t wished him dead. Prayed for it so hard I’ve dark green pebbles for eyes, ropes on the back of my hands I could strangle with. Oxymoron shows combination of feelings Enjambment Metaphor Her means of revenge. Metaphor used to emphasise strength of hands.

10 Spinster. I stink and remember. Whole days
One word sentence is what society sums her up as She sees her life as decay and memories Spinster. I stink and remember. Whole days in bed cawing Nooooo at the wall; the dress yellowing, trembling if I open the wardrobe; the slewed mirror, full-length, her, myself, who did this Makes her sound like an animal Lkjlkjsfd Turning or twisting Sounds like she no longer recognises what she has become

11 to me? Puce curses that are sounds not words.
Suggesting that at night she is able to dream Purplish-red to me? Puce curses that are sounds not words. Some nights better, the lost body over me, my fluent tongue in its mouth in its ear then down till I suddenly bite awake. Love’s The man she might have married She asks who has made her this way What is the effect of ‘bite awake?’

12 hate behind a white veil; a red balloon bursting
Use of oxymoron to show unstable mixture of Havisham’s feelings. Suggests celebrations that did not take place. What else might ‘red’ suggest? hate behind a white veil; a red balloon bursting in my face. Bang. I stabbed at a wedding-cake. Give me a male corpse for a long slow honeymoon. Don’t think it’s only the heart that b-b-b-breaks. Combines both love and revenge Stammered words to suggest a kind of collapse

13 Subject Write a short description of what the poem is about. Theme What are the main ideas in the poem? Meaning Is the poem straightforward or ambiguous? What do you think it means? Tone and mood Comment on the poem’s tone and mood. Does the poem make use of any irony or humour? Interesting details Comment on any details that you find interesting in the poem. Structure and form Describe the structure and form of the poems – look at such things as rhyme, rhythm, stanza form. Key images Look for key images in the poem. Say what the image is; what it means and how it works in the poem. Personal response Give your own response to the poem, with reasons.

14 Questions to consider Why does the poet omit Miss Havisham's title and refer to her by her surname only? Why does the poet write ‘spinster’ on its own? What does Miss Havisham think about this word and its relevance to her? What is the effect of “Nooooo” and “b-b-breaks”? Why are these words written in this way? What is the meaning of the image of ‘a red balloon bursting? Does Miss Havisham have a fair view of men? What do you think of her view of being an unmarried woman?

15 Perhaps the most important part of the poem is the question ‘who did this/to me?’
How far does the poem show that Miss Havisham is responsible for her own misery, and how far does it support her feelings of self-pity and her desire for revenge?

16 What is PEE? Point Evidence (quote) Explain

17 Consider the way Carol Ann Duffy presents the speaker of the poem.

18 Sample introduction to your answer
In the poem ‘Havisham’ Carol Ann Duffy presents Miss Havisham as bitter and twisted through her use of language. She shows her as wanting revenge on her finance who left her on her wedding day. However Miss Havisham also seems confused at times.

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