“Compare the Ways in Which Duffy and Pugh Write About Unhappiness and Suffering. in Your Response You Must Include Detailed Critical Discussion of at Least Two of Duffy’s Poems”

“Compare the ways in which Duffy and Pugh write about unhappiness and suffering. In your response you must include detailed critical discussion of at least two of Duffy’s poems”
Ordinarily, unhappiness and suffering are two states which are inextricably linked. Unhappiness coming as a direct result of suffering or making others suffer as a result of being unhappy. Duffy and Pugh make the distinctions within their work by exploring these universal themes.
In Duffy’s ‘Mrs Lazarus’, we find a woman who is in the grip of unhappiness, and cannot seem to escape her suffering; she is in a raw state where her whole world is turned to grief, as she says, she has “wept for day and night over my loss.”   That sense of despair is captured in the first stanza by Duffy very vividly with the use of the words “howled, shrieked, clawed”.   The repeated use of this very emotive language engages the reader, for we are instantly moved by these words.   The use of short sentences, repetition and stanzas of even length give us the impression of that heightened state one is in after bereavement – the blurring of the stanzas, where the words “going, going” bridge stanzas three and four, effect the sense of time moving at an unusual pace.   The actual content of the poem is also very gripping; it makes us aware of human loss of this kind, and the images Duffy conjures up are ones which the reader can associate with such as “stuffed dark suits into black bags”, “the will was read” and “he was vanishing to the small zero held by the gold of my ring”.   That familiarity of situation is a device which Duffy uses to expertly well.   As Mrs Lazarus’ husband disappears to “memory”, that sense of recovery is echoed in phrases such as, “healed, able to watch the edge of the moon occur to the sky”, and the atmosphere calms down. Her unhappiness remains, but her suffering is not so unbearable.   The last stanza is where Duffy explores the intricacies of the legend of Lazarus, bringing it into a more...