"Stealing" by Carol Ann Duffy

In: English and Literature

The poem “stealing” by Carol Ann Duffy is one of the most interesting poems I have ever read. It is about a common thief who steals objects with no great value, for example a snowman. You never know the thief’s gender or his or her name and this adds an air of mystery. Throughout the poem you feel no sympathy towards him. He takes enjoyment out of other people’s grief and this may be due to an unstable childhood or simply the way he feels about society. The poem is written quite sympathetically but no matter how hard you try, you find that the thief is a very unlikable character. He has an exceptionally high opinion of himself and a certain degree of self importance and this is made apparent by the way he looks at his life at a certain angle, with a third person view. It is my task to describe how far Carol Ann Duffy, in her poem “Stealing” reveals the persona and encourages a degree of sympathy on the part of the reader.
In the first stanza the thief begins as if repeating a question someone has asked him. This makes me think that the thief is perhaps talking to someone or being interviewed. “The most unusual thing I ever stole?” It is also a rhetorical question and the thief makes it quite clear that he is not new to the world of thievery by saying “I ever stole”. His answer was “A Snowman.” And by keeping his answer short you feel that he wants to get straight to the point. I feel that it starts to become clear now that he cares more about the affection from inanimate objects. “Midnight” The thief wants everything to seem grand and mysterious and by using this word it adds the perfect affect. It is a scary time of night and this is obviously very appealing for him. The snowman is referred to as “a tall, white, mute”. Duffy has made this line stand out in the poem by making it monosyllabic. It is made to stand out because it gives away some clues about the thief’s...

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