Duffy Presentation of Love and Romance in ' Valentine '

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Carol Anne Duffy presents love and romance in a unique way that differentiates valentine from any other love poem. Throughout this poem carol expresses love though the original metaphor of an onion. This essay analyses how she does this so effectively and how she presents a range of ideas about love and romance.

The idea of using an onion to represent your love for someone may be laughed at. However, the onion could metaphorically speaking represent the many layers of love or how love is bitter sweet. Duffy shows how an onion could mean a lot more than invaluable gifts such as ‘a rose or a satin heart’. She shows how these ordinary gifts are just stereotypes or clichés and expresses how she thinks that love should be represented by something truthful and honest. This is shown in the lines: ‘it is a moon wrapped in brown paper’. This metaphor shows the more positive side of love, of how it lights up the darkness. Also the idea of it being wrapped in brown paper makes it appear to be not very special and boring from the outside but the light from within shines out. This symbolizes the idea that love doesn’t need a fancy wrapping to disguise it as the truth will just shine through, showing it as it is. The moon which in this case represents love could also imply that it is out of reach. ‘It promises light’ is also another positive line in the poem that shows the better side of love.

The next few lines show a different aspect of love which not many poets write about. The line ‘it will blind you with tears, like a lover ‘ is a comparison which shows that love can make you cry just like the strong scent of an onion. It conjures up the idea that love is blind with sadness and is powerful enough to overwhelm you. It also suggests t...

... middle of paper ... is generally a negative view on love. The lines ‘Lethal. Its scent will cling to your fingers, cling to your knife.’ entail that even though your relationship might have ended you will never forget it, it will haunt you forever. This can also suggest that love is suicidal and that is will ultimately kill a part of you. The word cling can be taken to mean desperation, possessiveness and attachments. It seems to me that Duffy is trying to say that love is pointless, as the end will result in hurt.

In conclusion Duffy presents a positive and negative outlook on love and romance in this poem. It seems to me that she is warning us of the pain that love can cause but also the light it can bring into our lives. It is also clear that she believes that the more traditional gifts given at valentine are meaningless and is trying to show how an onion can convey much more.
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