Carol Ann Duffy's Little Red-Cap and Delilah Essay

1839 Words 8 Pages
Carol Ann Duffy's "Little Red-Cap” and “Delilah"

“During the 1980s, a unique type and style of women-led peace protest strategies emerged that relied on the powerful language, and particularly the powerful imagery of women as a group engaged in an extended protest against nuclear weapons” (LaWare 18). Carol Ann Duffy’s book, The World’s Wife, was first published in Great Britain in 1999, and two of its dramatic monologues similarly rely on the powerful language and imagery of women engaged in a protest against historically patriarchal narratives and male violence. “While some peace encampments [in the 1980s] included men and women, many were women only, including one of the first and longest lasting peace encampments, the Women’s
…show more content…
(LaWare 19)

“As one woman present that day explains, ‘hand in hand in hand, for nine miles we formed a living chain to lock in the horrors of war, to stand between them and our world and to say: we will meet your violence with a loving embrace’” (LaWare 29). Likewise, the speakers of “Little Red-Cap” and “Delilah” initially meet the horrors of male violence with a loving embrace. For example, the speaker of “Little Red-Cap”:

went in search of a living bird – white dove – which flew, straight, from [her] hands to [the wolf’s] open mouth. One bite, dead. How nice, breakfast in bed, he said, licking his chops. (25-28)

The wolf is assigned a male gender, and by killing a white dove with one bite, he not only kills the dove but the peace it typically symbolizes. This peace is what the female speaker goes in search of, but she initially meets the wolf’s horrific male violence with a loving embrace. She says, “I clung till dawn to his thrashing fur, for / what little girl doesn’t dearly love a wolf?” (22-23) Like the speaker of “Little Red-Cap[,]” the speaker of “Delilah” meets horrific male violence with a loving embrace. Her male

Related Documents