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Shooting Stars Carol Anne Duffy. We are learning to:. Identify the use of “theme” within Shooting Stars. I can: select examples from the poem that convey a specific theme. . Theme. Remember: a theme within a text is an idea that pervades a text. Task.

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Shooting Stars

Carol Anne Duffy


We are learning to
We are learning to:

  • Identify the use of “theme” within Shooting Stars.

  • I can: select examples from the poem that convey a specific theme.


Theme
Theme

  • Remember: a theme within a text is an idea that pervades a text.


Task

  • In your groups, quickly note down what you believe are important themes within “Shooting Stars.”

  • Try to provide an explanation for your “themes.”

  • 3 minutes



Theme analysis
Theme Analysis

  • Your group will be given a theme that is present within the poem.

  • In your groups, you are going to complete the following table.




Theme of religion
Theme of Religion

  • The theme of religion is integral to the poem.

  • The poem considers the tensions between Christianity and Judaism.


Theme of persecution
Theme of Persecution

  • Jews were probably the most persecuted race in modern history: hence, poems like this are vital.

  • Sometimes history disappears through textbooks - as good as history teachers are – and it is left to art to bring history to life.

  • The theme of persecution is contributed to by Duffy’s use of pronouns.


  • In the poem, there is a real sense of isolation.

  • Duffy repeatedly uses the pronoun “I” to remind the reader that she stands alone.

  • (She uses “I” at least once per stanza; bar stanza 5).

  • However, she is also emblematic of her race.

  • The soldiers – and perhaps the reader – are referred to as “You”.



Theme of history
Theme of History

  • Idea of “remembrance”. Remembering war heroes – stereotypical idea of soldiers.

  • Can these women be classified as war heroes too?

  • Repetition of the word “remember” to emphasise the strength of the poet’s message.


  • It could be argued that all history repeats itself. Duffy really wants to convey the idea that history must not be forgotten.

  • “After the history lesson children run to their toys”.

  • History lessons are seen to be rather insignificant in the poem and Duffy is rallying against this.


Theme of humanity
Theme of Humanity really wants to convey the idea that history must not be forgotten.

  • Man’s kindness to man: or not, as this poem shows the reader.

  • “They shot her in the eye”.

  • This is an unnecessarily brutal act. Human cruelty.

  • “young men gossiping and smoking by the graves”


  • The soldiers are really wants to convey the idea that history must not be forgotten. portrayed as actively enjoying themselves. This is a double kind of cruelty.

  • “I heard the click. Not yet. A trick.”

  • Excessive, gratuitous cruelty towards the Jews is evident.



Theme of femininity
Theme of Femininity but mental torture, too. Which form of torture is worse?

  • The poet adopts a strongly female persona (much of Duffy’s poetry is like this).

  • Reference to “daughters”. Idea of sisterhood.

  • Use of female names, including biblical ones – “Rachel”.

  • Soldiers depicted as being torturing male figures.


We are learning to1
We are learning to: but mental torture, too. Which form of torture is worse?

  • Identify the use of characterisation.

  • Success Criteria:

  • I can: select information that conveys elements of characterisation.


Characterisation remember
Characterisation – Remember… but mental torture, too. Which form of torture is worse?

  • The method a writer uses to reveal the personality of a character in a literary work.

  • Methods may include:

  • (1) by what the character says about himself or herself

  • (2) by what others reveal about the character

  • (3) by the character's own actions


Characters in the poem 10 minutes
Characters in the poem (10 minutes) but mental torture, too. Which form of torture is worse?

  • We have two sets of characters:

  • 1) Our persona

  • 2) The soldiers

  • Find quotations that describes both sets of characters and what it tells us about them and how we should feel about them?


Feedback2
Feedback but mental torture, too. Which form of torture is worse?


Persona characterisation
Persona - Characterisation but mental torture, too. Which form of torture is worse?

  • Persona is characterised as a victim

  • “they break our fingers to salvage my wedding ring”

  • torture (“break”)

  • treated as rubbish (“salvage”)

  • loss of a loving relationship (“wedding ring”)


  • Persona also characterised as but mental torture, too. Which form of torture is worse? brave

  • “upright as statues, brave”

  • “How would you prepare to die on a perfect April evening?”

  • -“prepare” suggests she was ready, brave in the face of extreme violence

  • -“perfect April evening” (irony) you would expect something pleasant to happen


Soldiers characterisation
Soldiers - Characterisation but mental torture, too. Which form of torture is worse?

  • On the other hand the German (Nazis) are characterised as inhumane, cruel

  • “they” – nameless, draws attention to their inhumanity

  • “one saw I was alive” –furthers the idea of namelessness


  • “the soldiers laughed” but mental torture, too. Which form of torture is worse? – suggests their inappropriate inhumanity

  • “a boy washes his uniform” – “boy” takes us into the idea that Nazis too may have been victims having their innocence taken away from them


The title
The Title but mental torture, too. Which form of torture is worse?

  • ‘Shooting Stars’ is an ambiguous title referring both to the yellow Star of David which Jewish civilians and prisoners were forced to wear as well as the temporary nature of life in the metaphorical comparison of people to meteors that we call shooting stars.

  • The shooting star is a symbol of fleetingness of life. Just as a shooting star flashes in and out of existence in the blink of an eye so too have the lives of the victims of the holocaust been brutally cut short. A third interpretation is that a heroic person who has suffered a tragic end and is deserving of this ‘star’ in the face of adversity is being shot down.


Poetic form
Poetic Form but mental torture, too. Which form of torture is worse?

  • Six stanza poem, each stanza four lines long.

  • Regular rhythm – standard line lengths – one example of rhyme in the final stanza.


Narrative perspective
Narrative Perspective but mental torture, too. Which form of torture is worse?

  • The poem is written in the first person to emphasise the narrator’s feelings. This creates and intimate relationship between poet and reader to increase the emotive effect of the poem. Feelings are the crux of this poem! The speaker is not identified; she is nameless – like so many of the Jewish victims.


Potential questions
Potential Questions but mental torture, too. Which form of torture is worse?

  • Choose a poem which describes a person’s experience.

  • Explain how the poetic technique used to describe the experience make the poem more interesting.

  • Choose a poem which arouses strong emotion in you.

  • Describe how you feel about the poem, and explain how the poet leads you to feel this way.

  • Choose a poem in which the poet creates a particular mood or atmosphere.

  • Show how the poet creates this mood or atmosphere by his or her choice of subject matter and use of poetic techniques.


  • Choose a poem which deals with an important issue such as war, crime, poverty, or racism.

  • Explain how the poet deepens your understanding of the issue by the choice of content and the skilful use of poetic techniques.

  • Choose a poem which describes an animal or a place or an event in an effective way.

  • Briefly state what is being described and go on to show how the techniques used in the poem make the description effective.


  • Choose a poem which could be considered as having a powerful message.

  • Show how the poet effectively conveys this message through his or her use of poetic techniques.

  • Choose a poem in which the poet creates a particular mood or atmosphere.

  • Show how the poet creates this mood or atmosphere by his or her choice of subject matter and use of poetic techniques.


  • Choose a poem which has as one of its central concerns a personal, social or religious issue

  • Show how the content and the poetic techniques used increase you understanding of the issue.

  • Choose a poem which creates an atmosphere of sadness, pity, or loss.

  • Show how the poet creates the atmosphere and what effect it has on your response to the subject matter of the poem.


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