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The Woman Who Shopped

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Rhianna Rock

on 21 March 2014

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Transcript of The Woman Who Shopped

- Isolation
- Silence Vs language
- Change/Time
- Reflection
- Oppression
- Politics/capitalism
- Freedom
- Objectification
- Dehumanization
Politics/ Capitalism
Key Themes
Is it key to the collection?
The Woman Who Shopped
Identity comes from what she has, which is shown before we even read the poem.

Objectification is meant to shock us and open our eyes, to try and create a change in how society portrays women.

The woman is literally selling herself.
Poem shows that women are exploited & put into a false sense of needs through consumerism.
Shows corruption in society.
Lack of full stops adds frustration to the speaker's tone and creates a rant about how capitalism treats women.

Moral of the story is emphasised to teach values and reject capitalist views.

"... crowds would queue overnight at her cunt"
The Woman Who Shopped
Is the poem key to the collection?
THE POEMS MAIN THEME. Links all the other themes together!!
Use of 'a' emphasises lack of connection as she doesn't care who or what it is.

Groom is an afterthought, showing that the woman's priorities are materialistic items before human interactions.
People are only valuable to her if they can provide money and materialism.

Implies that we put money above humans.
"applied for a job...;wanted a wedding, a wedding dress, groom"
"... shuffle his plastic with hers"
Items start becoming more and more less practical, to the point where she doesn't even use them.

Just buys items for the sake of it through false consciousness. Implies money can't buy happiness.
"swimming pools, caravans, saunas... stacked on the lawn"
Extended metaphor. Vaguely aware of becoming a shopping center, however through false consciousness, capitalism has dehumanised woman to the point that she enjoys it. Women's bodies are bound up with capitalism
"Stone cold she when she woke, she was stone"
"...She loved the changing rooms of her heart"
The Woman Who Shopped is a key poem to the collection as it highlights Duffy's view on women in society and how they are treated,gaining its place in the political first half of the collection. Even though, the poem doesn't follow many themes from the more personal second half, it encourages women to view how they are portrayed in society and to make a change about it before it's too late.
But why?
Exaggeration of the woman becoming shopping center and sharpness of language used allows the reader (especially women) to find a voice and become more politically active/ reject societal views that are forced upon them through patriarchy.
But how?
Women can reject societal views by not conforming to capitalist false consciousness by spending more time interacting with people and making something of their lives, rather than shopping and being corrupted by consumerism, which is the moral of the poem. The woman who shopped became an image of what women shouldn't be, opening the eyes of women, so they don't go down the wrong path. This makes the poem a key to the first part of the collection as Duffy is showing women how they can be set free, however it's only key to the collection as a whole to some extent as it doesn't have themes such as love.
Full transcript