Feminine Gospels

Finn O'Ryan
Mind Map by Finn O'Ryan, updated more than 1 year ago More Less
Finn O'Ryan
Created by Finn O'Ryan over 2 years ago


Mind Map on Feminine Gospels, created by Finn O'Ryan on 03/22/2017.

Resource summary

Feminine Gospels
1 The Map Woman
1.1 Theme of place and identity
1.1.1 Her identity is formed by her childhood and hometown. Her body is presented as the means of identity as this is where the map is. Link to Beautiful, The Diet, The Woman Who Shopped.
1.2 Theme of the past and its inescapabiility.
1.2.1 Work and Beautiful incorporate history and the theme of the past and progress. Duffy often suggests the lack of change or negative progress.
1.3 Theme of change and transformation is key. She transforms into a snake and sheds her skin in order to relieve herself from her past.
1.4 Conceit is used throughout - her body and skin is defined and made up of her original home. It is part of her.
2 Beautiful
2.1 Theme of beauty ideals placed on women
2.1.1 Expectations of the media
2.2 Their bodies are presented as a means of identity and they are defined by their beauty. Objectification.
2.2.1 Sexualised with unpleasant imagery. Links to Loud. Duffy is not afraid to use shocking and sexual language as a woman.
2.3 Structure
2.3.1 Chronological order of women throughout history. Beauty ideals have changed bu the issues remain the same.
2.3.2 Women's perspective of History. "Herstory". Link to Sub and History.
2.4 Isolation of women as subjects. Could link to Tall or Loud or Sub.
2.5 Cultural references. The women are not named but we know who they are.
3 The Diet
3.1 Conceit is used of Alice in Wonderland. Reflects girls changing size as a result of Anorexia as Alice's size changes from large to small
3.2 Theme of change and transformation
3.3 Theme of media expectations being placed on women.
3.3.1 Women expected to take up as little space as possible. Link to Tall and The Handmaids Tale.
3.4 Structure
3.4.1 Descent into anorexia as the poem progresses. Reflects Alice's descent down the rabbithole.
3.5 Theme of loss and identity
3.5.1 Could link to the Handmaids Tale as the Handmaids are used solely for their fertility and have no independence or freedom.
3.6 Key features: Internal rhyme, enjambment, lists. Creates faster pace and emphasises speed of weight gain.
4 The Woman Who Shopped
4.1 Theme of consumerism in modern culture,
4.1.1 Can't stop purchasing items and eventually becomes defined by this consumerism. Becomes the shop itself.
4.2 Use of lists and enjambment, similar to The Diet, to convey materialism and amount of products she is buying.
4.3 Theme of change and transformation
4.3.1 The woman becomes the shop itself. Fairytale like.
4.4 Religious imagery. Edenic symbolism as he first purchase is an apple. Descent into sin and consumerist temptation.
5 Work
5.1 Structure
5.1.1 Progression of history, similar to Beautiful, is presented through the poem. Technological and industrial convergence emphasises progression of society.
5.2 Theme of consumerism
5.3 Theme of the power of women's bodies
5.3.1 Provides for society with her own body and does not stop working even in death. Link to The Map Woman, Beautiful etc.
5.3.2 Value placed on pregnancy, compared to rugby ball in Sub. Women's bodies are powerful yet society ignore this and does not value this.
5.4 Society neglecting women's role in history. Link to History.
6 Tall
6.1 Theme of change and transformation
6.1.1 Woman becomes extremely tall, which may represent Duffy's growing career and success, Theme of women in society taking up space, link to The DIet.
6.2 Religious overtones. She becomes an isolated God-like figure.
6.3 Isolation of women.
6.3.1 Compare it to Sub: She makes it to the top in the football match. Isolated in the changing room as she is the only woman in the lads.
6.4 Story-like tone and rhythm
6.4.1 Lists and pace show growth/achievements.
7 Loud
7.1 Theme of women not having a voice and position of women in society.
7.1.1 Link to Sub. Women excluded from society and men dominate.
7.2 Theme of war and human suffering.
7.2.1 Use of metaphors and violent imagery to suggest that war and hatred is destroying the world
7.3 The negative impact/effect of the news and media.
7.4 Women are trapped by their bodies. In this case, her voice is literally trapped inside her and restricted by society until she eventually lets it out.
7.4.1 Contrast to Sub. She is not trapped or defined by being a woman. Even when she is pregnant or on her period, she continues to play sport, work etc. As women were not actually present in any of the events, Duffy may be suggesting that women are in fact trapped by their bodies.
7.5 Theme of change and transformation as her voice becomes louder and louder.
8 History
8.1 Focus on female perspective of history. Herstory (like Sub and Beautiful) emphasises the role of women throughout time.
8.1.1 She is the physical personification/conceit of female history.
8.2 Isolation of women, especially older women, by society. The old woman is treated badly and neglected. Has a solitary routine.
8.2.1 Society's neglect of the woman suggests neglect of female history. Nobody cares about this persepctive, focus on male history.
8.3 Religious imagery and facts. Emphasis on Mary and her emotions and othe religious figures.
8.4 Maternal imagery. Links to fertiity and motherhood. Stereotypical view of women.,
8.5 Hostility towards male figures in this poem. The male soldiers who are "spitting", presented negatively.
9 Anon
9.1 Anonymous. Female writers having to either take a man's name or receive no credit.
9.1.1 Women rejected by society. Not included in history.
9.2 Loss of female identity. Link to The Map Woman
9.3 Intelligence and independence of women. Although it is acknowledged by society, it is still present.
9.3.1 Idea of the legacy of women.
9.4 Light hearted and humourous tone. People may not take anonymous individuals as seriously as those with a clear identity.
10 The Laughter of Stafford Girls' High
10.1 Form: Epic tale
10.2 Longest poem in the anthology.
10.2.1 Marks turning point in the anthology. Freedom from repression after this poem. First half is satirical, light hearted, generally third person, and deal with the repression of women. Second half is more honest and serious.
10.3 Laughter metaphorical for release and rebellion against repression. Extended metaphor for freedom of speech. Teachers represent the suppression of individuality.
10.3.1 Teachers speak monosyllabically, only pure facts. Their anger juxtaposes simple pleasure of laughter. Do not allow fun or freedom
11 A Dreaming Week
11.1 Beginning of the second half of the collection after Stafford Girls High.
11.2 7 Stanzas. A week, but poem represents a lifetime.
11.3 Importance of imagination and individual expression. She dreams about her future, possible achievements, and allows her mind to be free.
11.4 Slow and dreamy rhythm created by anapaests. Peaceful tone, dreaming and imagination is made to seem appealing.
11.4.1 Combined with celestial imagery. Creativity can transport us.
11.5 Could be read as the process of writing poetry and how enjoyable this process is.
11.6 Could be read as a poem protesting for women's voices that need to be heard. "Not tonight". Refusing a man sex, independence as she thinks ofr herself.
12 The Light Gatherer
12.1 Theme of motherhood and witnessing childhood.
12.1.1 Duffy values her daughter massively. She is proud of being a mother, shows that this stereotype is sometimes true and not always negative.
12.1.2 Bittersweetness of being a proud mother, and sadness of having to say goodbye to daughter as she grows and leaves home.
12.2 Structure: Stanzas follow her growth. Conceit of light growing with the child throughout the poem.
12.3 Daughter is a symbol of hope. Reflected by positive connotations of light.
13 Death and the Moon
13.1 Theme of identity, particularly in death.
13.1.1 The death of Adrien Henri and the grief of both Duffy and Catherine Marcangeli
13.1.2 His poetic life is remembered, as a writer and intellectual.
13.2 Very personal poem. Duffy reveals the harsh reality of her grief and pain after his death.
13.2.1 Use of alliteration, assonance. Sounds harsh, reflects harshness of death.
13.2.2 Very conventional poem in contrast to earlier poems in anthology. Regular stanzas and normal length.
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