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For Monday 17/09/12. Learn the full poem – you need to read, re-read and practice!. Homework for Friday 14 th September 2012. Choose a poem in which contrast is important in developing theme.

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for monday 17 09 12
For Monday 17/09/12
  • Learn the full poem – you need to read, re-read and practice!
homework for friday 14 th september 2012
Homework for Friday 14th September 2012

Choose a poem in which contrast is important in developing theme.

Explore the poet’s use of contrast and show why it is important in developing a key theme of the poem.

critical evaluation central skills
Critical evaluation – central skills

1) Understand the main ideas and central concerns of the text. (Theme)

2) Sustain a relevant argument, or line of thought. (Answer the question)

3) Engage with the text and evaluate its effectiveness. (Personal response)

4) Analyse techniques and identify impact.

5) Produce evidence to support your line of thought. (Quote)

7) Write effectively to make your argument clear. (structure)

8) Be technically accurate. (Punctuation/spelling)

word bank
Word bank
  • Solitude
  • Harrowing experience
  • Religious imagery
  • Depicts
  • Conveys
  • Emphasises
  • Portrays
  • Isolation
  • Despair
your answer 1000 words
Your answer – 1000 words

Clear introduction with 5 features:

1) Words of question – contrast and theme

2) Text details – ‘War Photographer’ by Carol Ann Duffy

3) Theme(s) – impact of war and how this varies depending on who you are and where you live.

4) Techniques – form, setting, imagery, character, tone…

5) Personal response – thought provoking, harrowing, disturbing, memorable…


Choose a poem in which contrast is important in developing theme.Explore the poet’s use of contrast and show why it is important in developing a key theme of the poem.

A poem in which contrast is important in developing theme is Carol Ann Duffy’s disturbing poem ‘War Photographer’. This is a poem about the impact of war as seen through the eyes of a war correspondent. As the photographer develops the images in his darkroom he reflects on what he has witnessed. Duffy uses contrasting settings, imagery, sentence structure and perspectives to examine the human cost of conflict. This was a thought provoking poem which made me appreciate the consequences of living and working in a war zone.

main body 4 5 paragraphs
Main body – 4-5 paragraphs
  • Point
  • Evidence
  • Comment
  • Personal response
  • Remember the largest part of this chain must be the comment section. Here you will analyse (why did the poet do something) and how effective is this.

At the opening of the poem we discover the protagonist of the poem is ‘In his darkroom’ where ‘he is finally alone’. The emphasis on ‘finally alone’ highlights that he is glad to be in the safety and solitude of his workroom. This contrasts with the war zones of ‘Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh.’ Which were all areas of severe conflict, terror and noise. On one hand his ‘darkroom’ is described ‘as a church and he a priest preparing to intone a Mass’. This religious reference highlights the peace in his ‘darkroom’ and also the important role that his occupation plays in presenting the truth to society. On the other hand the ‘darkroom’ contains ‘spools of suffering set out in ordered rows’. This image of pain reminds us of a funeral mass and emphasises that the photographer’s job is to record and report on the deaths that war brings. By using the contrast between the ‘darkroom’ and the war zones Duffy reveals that the War Photographer is in a dark place mentally and this is exposed as the poem progresses. (200 words)

contrast in war photographer
Contrast in ‘War Photographer’
  • Contrast of ‘darkroom’ versus ‘war zones’
  • Contrast of regular rhyme scheme versus enjambment.
  • Short sentences contrast with long sentences.
  • Fields in Rural England contrast with foreign fields.
  • Reaction of the WP, the editor and the public to the pictures he takes.
  • Mirror image of introduction.
  • No new information
  • No analysis
  • No quotes
  • Reference to question
  • Personal response
  • In conclusion Carol Ann Duffy’s powerful poem ‘War Photographer’ uses contrast as a way of exploring theme. The theme of the poem is the contrast between the impact of war on those who witness and experience war as opposed to the effect of war on those who merely read about it. Duffy highlights this by contrasting the peaceful setting of the darkroom with the chaos of the war zones. Moreover the form of the poem highlights the order of the photographer’s life with the fear he feels inside. Furthermore Duffy juxtaposes religious imagery with images of pain and suffering. Finally there is a contrast of attitudes in the final stanza which illustrates that the public often do not care. Since studying this poem I have become more aware of the true horror of war and am inspired by the heroism of many reporters who risk their lives in the attempt to bring us the truth.
discursive essay
Discursive essay
  • The National Health Service is launching a nationwide campaign entitled “Respect My Dying Wish” between October and February 2012.
  • In order to support the campaign about “organ donation” a speechmaking competition is being sponsored by the National Health and The Sunday Times for young people in S5/6 in Glasgow’s Secondary schools.
  • In addition, the organisers from the National Health Service would be willing to have a clinician speak to S5/6 about this topic – which may be of interest to your school. Just let me know and I will pass on to the NHS.
discursive essay1
Discursive essay
  • Hillsborough – cover up
  • Media power
  • What is the meaning of truth?
  • Families fight for justice.
  • Police corruption – reputation
      • Hillsborough
      • Stephen Lawrence
Point: It can be difficult for us to relate to suffering in faraway countries and so to make us feel angry and guilty about it Duffy has to use some disturbing and powerful images. Images we would rather not think about. For example she says we live by:
  • Evidence: 'Fields which don't explode beneath the feet Of running children in a nightmare heat.
  • Analysis: This image is effective because we would normally think of 'running children' in 'fields' as an image of fun. We also associate children with innocence, and the idea of them being hurt brings out our protective instincts. Duffy does not tell us what these children are running from, some kind of 'nightmare heat', leaving it up to us to imagine our worst fears. In effect, this image is what happened before the images we have all seen on our televisions of children badly burnt, without legs or arms. We know while they are 'running' what will happen to them.
  • As you can see from the above table, the analysis is the most important and therefore longest part of the answer.
  • You must make a sufficient and extenive comment on your evidence.
  • What about personal response?
two things to consider form and content
Two things to consider – Form and Content
  • Form: This is the style of the poem
  • Does it rhyme?
  • Is it free verse?
  • How many stanzas are there?
  • Is it a sonnet?
  • Limerick?
  • Regular?
  • Narrative?
  • Monologue
  • Ballad
  • Rap…

what is the point of a limerick
What is the point of a limerick?

There was a ‘young’ teacher at school (a)

Who had a very important rule (a)

If you were caught chewing gum (b)

She would contact your mum (b)

And then you would look like a fool! (a)

form and content
Form and Content
  • The form of a poem often indicates the theme (content)
  • For example a limerick is humorous and not meant to be serious
  • A sonnet is usually about something serious such as love
  • A regular rhyme scheme often indicates order and control.
homework for friday 7 9 12
Homework for Friday 7/9/12
  • Write a paragraph (long paragraph) about the impact of war.
  • You do not need to base this on the poem but on your own thoughts.
  • What does war do to people on the front line?
  • How does war impact on those distant from the fighting?
  • What is the point of war?
  • This is your thoughts and reactions to war.
  • Has studying this poem enlightened or changed your views.
  • 2 unlike or opposite qualities side by side.
  • Juxtaposition – side by side

For example juxtaposition of war zones with the ‘darkroom’.