The Power Of Sexuality In The Beast By M. Duffy

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In Mrs Beast, Duffy takes a strong feminist stance by encouraging female dominance through taking control of her own sexuality. This is portrayed through the sexual imagery and language used by the protagonist of the poem. The voice of the poem boasts about her intellectual and sexual dominance over her partner, who she names “The Beast”. Her bragging about her sexual experiences is akin to that of a school boy; she describes “the grunts, the groans, the yelps” of her sexual partner, and takes pride in stating that she “had the language”. This suggests that the combination of sexual awareness and higher intelligence in women allows them the power to dominate men. However in this context this feels uncomfortable and somewhat abusive, as her…show more content…
The verb “had” in the past tense has connotations of something that has been lost, or that something has been cumulatively built up. In this context she seems to be a teacher imparting her knowledge of “language” onto her students. How she addresses her audience as “girls” suggests that she considers herself to be a more mature and superior woman in comparison to the “girls” she is addressing. This superior attitude toward others is also observed in her romantic relationship with the Beast through the adjectives she uses to describe him such as “mongrel” and “pig”. From a feminist perspective this does not communicate the message of feminism (women being equal to men) at all, but rather suggests that the speaker is aggressive, entitled and arrogant, perhaps to reverse the ancient gender roles between men and women. The Beast is treated the same way a woman would have been treated before the suffragette’s movement with him being kept “out of sight” when he is not needed. His only value is that his partner gives him. To an audience this feels incredibly uncomfortable as the gender norms that are prevalent in society and traditional narratives are being subverted within Duffy’s poetry, however no societal issues are being solved, the issues of inequality of one gender are simply shifted to the other. Duffy’s poetry seems to not be calling…show more content…
Minor declarative sentences such as “Harder.” Suggests a dominance in her tone, but also the word “harder” has sexual connotations in the context it is used in. This is also shown through her stanza structure as she breaks the first and second stanza mid-sentence, the first ending with “the sex” the second opening with “is better”. The way the sentence is broken across the two stanzas is designed by Duffy to emphasize “sex” as sexuality is a central means of dominating the opposite gender within the poem. The audience is forced to focus on the single word “sex” to emphasise it importance in the power dynamic between herself and the Beast. Emphasising the sex being “better” suggests that she is comparing other members of the opposite sex, suggesting that intrasexual competition is not only between women as suggested by the poker game but is imposed onto men by women based upon how well they sexually gratify their

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