Critical analysis of the poem stealing by Carol Ann Duffy

“Stealing” by Carol Ann Duffy is a poem that explores the inner workings of the mind of a character who has a tendency to steal things. The tone of the poem “Stealing “is conversational and confessional. The poet uses dramatic monologue to convey her thoughts in this poem.

The speaker begins by describing the most unusual thing she has ever stolen, which is a snowman. The speaker’s description of the snowman is almost poetic, “a tall, white mute / beneath the winter moon”, which is ironic since the speaker’s intentions are destructive.

The speaker’s tone is casual and frank as she describes her tendencies toward stealing. She describes stealing things that don’t need, joyriding cars, and breaking into houses. These actions seem to be motivated by a sense of boredom, which the speaker emphasizes in the line “Mostly I’m so bored I could eat myself.”

The speaker’s tone is also detached and apathetic, as she seems to take pleasure in the harm she causes. The speaker states, “Part of the thrill was knowing / that children would cry in the morning.” This line emphasizes the speaker’s disregard for the feelings of others.

Throughout the poem, the speaker’s actions are juxtaposed against her inner thoughts and feelings. The speaker reveals a sense of loneliness and isolation, which she attempts to cope with through stealing. She describes stealing a snowman because she wanted “a mate / with a mind as cold as the slice of ice / within my own brain.” The speaker’s desire for companionship is ironic, given that her actions only serve to push others away.

The final stanza of the poem is particularly poignant. The speaker describes stealing a guitar, hoping to learn to play it. This reveals a sense of vulnerability and desire for self-improvement that is absent from the rest of the poem. The final line, “You don’t understand a word I’m saying, do you?” suggests that the speaker feels misunderstood and alienated. This is also a reference to dramatic monologue.

Overall, “Stealing” is a poem that reveals the inner workings of a character who is isolated, bored, and destructive. The poem is a commentary on the emptiness of material possessions and the importance of human connection. It also tells the condition of people who don’t have quality work. Thus we can say that the speaker has done all these unusual stealing activities out of boredom.

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