Queen Kong Carol Ann Duffy Analysis

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Queen Kong, in relation to the monstrous gorilla King Kong is a somewhat peculiar character that thinks of herself as a human being. Although she is an enormous, terrifying animal, she shows love, affection and passion for a male human. Her devoted nature is a complete contrast to her appearance. Her temperament is undeniably opposite to King Kong, who acted aggressively and with hate towards humans.

She thinks of herself as quite normal, and falls in love with a male human. The difference in species does not alter her affection; in fact I’m not sure she even notices.

She is so wrapped up in devotion and love for this man, nothing else matters to her. The first few stanzas of the poem lead you to believe that Queen Kong is not actually a gorilla, but a real person.

‘Staying in 2 quiet hotels in the village, where people were used to strangers and more or less left you alone. ‘ Obviously it would be impossible for a gorilla to comfortably stay in a hotel suite, but the way that Carol Ann Duffy portrays her character is that of a human. The first mention of her beloved is in a dominant way; almost the approach we are led to believe that men take over women, one of ownership and possession, ‘My little man’.

Qween Kong

By using such a small, snappy sentence, Duffy emphasises the upper-hand she has over her man, and with the reference to his size, she also emphasises the fact that she is so much larger than him; he could not really get away from her if he desired to.

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‘It was absolutely love at first sight. ‘ Although she first portrays her character as controlling, those few words sum up just how much she really does care for him; she would do anything for him. Duffy uses short sentences and italic writing on appropriate words when she wants to emphasise a feeling. ‘Lonely’.

She leads you to believe that the man who came into her life was a saviour as she had spent the majority of her life emotionless and all by herself. She also emphasises ‘gorgeous’, showing the sexual way she feels for him and the physical as well as the emotional attraction. Duffy creates many instances of erotic nature between the male and the gorilla within the poem. I believe she does this to portray the fact that appearance is not significant, although someone may not be physically attractive to others, if there is an emotional connection between two people, they may want to be together sexually although some may find it wrong or immoral.

There were things he could do for me with the sweet finesse of those hands that no gorilla could. ‘ Although she is talking in a sexual sense, she does not mention anything that she does for him; this shows the dominance in their relationship and his need to please her without getting anything in return. The stanzas are set out as if a story is being told, a combination of diary entries almost, as Duffy writes it all in chronological order and with a lot of detail into each area of the poem.

Many powerful adjectives are used throughout the poem to describe her emotions, good and bad; also to describe her beloved; in other words, perfection in her eyes. It isn’t until the fourth stanza that the man is mentioned in a keener way, as if he does love Queen Kong and is not being forced into the relationship merely by her size. ‘He’d climb into my open hand, sit down;’ this describes his enthusiastic approach towards her; he loves her too. But then he has to go. This absolutely tears her apart. Her dominance over him lacks in this stanza, ‘But I let him go, my man.

Although she still refers to him as ‘her man’, she is letting him go; she is trying to do best by him, simply because she adores him so much. The emotional toll of her man leaving her is clearly represented in stanza 8. ‘I slept for a week; then woke to binge for a fortnight. I didn’t wash. ‘ This sort of uses an American way of portraying Queen Kong; when men think that women sleep and binge eat ice-cream to make themselves feel better, which is again attaching her character to that of a human. Also, ‘I bled when a fat red moon rolled on the jungle roof’ gives reference to the female menstrual cycle, which gorillas do not experience.

Menstrual cycles come once a month; she also mentions at the beginning of stanza 8 that she ‘only lasted a month’ which co-insides with the cycle. She then decides to ‘get him back’. This shows the affectionate side of her character and that she cannot live without the one she loves; she tried but to no avail. This also shows the desperation in her character, no other human would want to spend time with a gorilla so she is all alone; effectively she needs her man. Many instances of imagery are used within the ninth stanza such as when Duffy writes ‘concrete rain-forest of light’ using a metaphor to describe the New York skyline.

She also uses alliteration; ‘pressing my passionate eye’ which emphasises how distressed she was whilst looking through the windows of houses searching for her lover. ‘I found him, of course. ‘ She would never give up. Living on her own for just a month brought her to the realisation that she needed company and couldn’t survive by herself. She uses adjectives such as ‘lovely’ to describe her man when she finds him, portraying her joy to be reunited with the one she loves once again. Then she swaps characters, and turns from a gorilla back into a human describing herself shopping in Bloomingdale’s!

This would be ethically impossible, but the way she illustrates her life now is almost as if it’s normal again just because she has her man back with her. She describes the next twelve ‘happy years’ of their life together in less detail than the rest of the poem, showing that they spent so much time together that she didn’t really have time to write about anything, their lives were content. Although she knew that he would die before her, nothing prepared her for the upset she received when he did. ‘I wear him now, around my neck, perfect, preserved, with emeralds for eyes. ‘ In a strange way, this is a very loving gesture.

Her man will be with her wherever she goes, and travel through the remainder of her life with her, which is exactly what she wants. I think Queen Kong is very pleased that she did not let her man go completely, she fought for him and because of this they managed to spend the last twelve happy years of his life together. There is irony at the end of this poem; whereas the famous King Kong died in his storyline, Queen Kong is not facing death, but dealing with the consequences of losing a loved one which is entirely different. This shows the feminist point of view, the female being left to live whilst the man passes away.

Queen Kong is one of the only poems in the collection ‘The World’s Wife’ that portrays men in a positive light. Although the human involved could not put up much resistance against the gorilla, it does describe him as a loving character that was almost willing to spend his life with her. This poem encourages female dominance whilst also, by regularly using the adjective ‘little’ to describe her man and his genital features you know that this story is a complete contrast to King Kong with the female controlling the relationship. It is very interesting to see the role reversal, especially when written from a feminist point of view.

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Queen Kong Carol Ann Duffy Analysis. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/paper-on-queen-kong-carol-ann-duffy/

Queen Kong Carol Ann Duffy Analysis
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