Want to revise how key themes develop in 'Before You Were Mine?'
This activity will help you understand how Duffy's language choice and tone develop these key themes in the poem. In other words, what is the effect of these key themes on the reader? What exactly is Duffy trying to show about these key themes? First, let's identify the main themes in the poem:
This activity is designed so that you not only identify these key themes and ideas in the poem by the language Duffy uses, but explore how these themes develop in the poem. So how does Duffy develop one of these themes in her poem?
Here's an example of an evaluation of the theme of childhood in the poem:
"Duffy uses the theme of childhood to illustrate her close relationship with her mother. In the fourth stanza, Duffy writes that, as a child, she was "loud" and "possessive" suggesting that her childhood resulted in the end of her mother's best decade, as shown by the sentence - "the decade ahead [...] was the best one, eh?""
If you want to make this activity more of a revision exercise, then jot these themes down. If you want to use this activity to test yourself, then go ahead and try to memorise these key themes. It's up to you how you want to use this activity.
Remember, it's not a race. So take your time with each step.