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Duffy “Little Red Cap” Poem

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 01:06 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.1 
  • Words: 1877
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In “Little Red Cap” discuss the use of

imagery, syntax and structure.


Introduction to the collection of poems

Similarities and differences between this poem and original fairytale

Imagery – how has Duffy used the words used to create pictures in the reader’s head?

Syntax – word order. Why has she written sentences the way she has? Emphasis on a particular word.

Structure – length of stanzas

“Little Red Cap” is written by Carol Ann Duffy found in a collection of poems called “The world’s wife”, where she has given a voice to the women (fantasy characters and real people) who have generally been silent or their thoughts made clear through the voices of their husband’s or partner’s.

Firstly, the title of the poem grabs your attention and reminds you of ‘Red Riding Hood’, a children’s story. This is clever, as it sets the readers mind to thinking about the story, which means that the reader can connect all of the similarities in the poem to the children’s story, for example; “What big eyes he had! What teeth!”

The poem “Little red cap” is among others where Duffy has based this poem on a fairytale story, in this case, little red riding hood. However, this poem has a few differences to the original version of the story. For example, this poem uses imagery to create a very sexual feeling, where as the original fairytale was not in any way sexual, but had a more simplistic idea of ‘good – little red riding hood’ and ‘bad – the sly wolf’.

The wolf in this poem is portrayed to the reader as a ‘good’ character, and Little Red Cap as the ‘sly’ one who appears to know what she is doing in order to get what she wants.

In the first stanza of the poem, Duffy starts off with the metaphor “At childhood’s end”. This portrays that childhood is so powerful it has been described as a physical place. The reader can picture this place clearly because...


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