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Mr. Faust - Carol Ann Duffy (Analysis)

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by

Thomas Ouwehand

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Mr. Faust - Carol Ann Duffy (Analysis)

Mrs. Faust
First things first -
I married Faust.
We met as students,
shacked
up
, split
up
,
made
up
, hitched
up
,
got a mortgage on a house,
flourished academically,
BA. MA. Ph.D. No kids.
Two towelled bathrobes. Hers. His
We
worked
.

We
saved
.
We
moved again
.
Fast cars. A boat with
sails
.
A second home in
Wales
.
The latest toys – computers,
mobile phones. Prospered.
Moved again. Faust’s face
was clever, greedy, slightly
mad
.
I was as
bad
.

I grew to love lifestyle,
not the

life
.
He grew to love the kudos,
not the

wife
.
He went to whores.
I felt, not
jealousy
,
but the chronic
irritation
.
I went to yoga, t’ai
chi
,
Feng Shui, therapy, colonic
irrigation
.
And Faust would boast
at dinner parties
of the cost
of doing deals out East.
Then take his lust
to Soho in cab,
to say the
least
,
to lay the ghost,
get lost, meet panthers,
feast
.

He wanted more.
I came home late one winter’s
evening
,
hadn’t eaten.
Faust
was upstairs in his study,
in a
meeting
.
I smelled cigar smoke,
hellish, oddly sexy, not
allowed
.
I heard
Faust
and the other laugh
aloud
.
Next thing, the world,
as
Faust
said,
spread its legs.
First politics -
Safe seat. MP. Right Hon. KG.
Than banks -
offshore, abroad -
and business -
Vice-chairman. Chairman. Owner. Lord.


Enough? Encore!
Faust was Cardinal, Pope,
knew more than God;
flew faster than the speed of sound
around the globe,
lunched
;
walked on the moon,
golfed, holed in one;
lit a fat Havana on the Sun.
Then backed a
hunch
-
invested in smart bombs,
in
harms
,
Faust dealt in arms.
Faust got in deep, got out.
Bought
farms
,
cloned
sheep
.
Faust surfed the internet
for like-minded Bo
Peep
.


As for me,
I went my own sweet
way
,
saw Rome in a
day
,
spun gold from
hay
,
had a facelift,
had my breasts enlarged,
my buttocks
tightened
;
went to China, Thailand, Africa,
returned
enlightened
.
Turned 40, celibate,
teetotal, vegan,
B
uddhist, 41.
Went
b
londe,
redhead,
b
runette,
went native, ape,
b
ersek,
b
ananas;
went on the run,
alone
;
went
home
.





Faust was in. "A word", he said,
"I spent the night being pleasured
by a virtual Helen of Troy.
Faced that launched a thousand
ships
.
I kissed its
lips
.
Thing
is
-
I’ve made a pact
with
Mephistopheles
,
the Devil’s boy."
"He’s on his way
to take away
what’s
owed
,
reap what I
sowed
.
For all these years of
gagging for
it
,
going for
it
,
rolling in
it
,
I’ve sold my soul."

At
this
, I heard
a serpent’s
hiss
tasted evil, knew its smell,
as scaly devil’s hands
poked up
right through the terracota Tuscan tiles
at Faust’s bare feet
and dragged him, oddly smirking, there and then
straight down to Hell.



Oh, well.
Faust’s will
left everything-
the yacht,
the several houses,
the Lear
jet
, the helipad,
the loot, et
cet
, et
cet
,
the lot -
to me.




C’est la
vie
.
When I got
ill
it hurt like
hell
.
I bought a
kidney
with my credit
card
,
then I got
well
.
I keep Faust’s secret
still
-
the clever, cunning, callous
bastard
didn’t have a soul to sell.
Style/Form:
- 15 stanzas
- 9 Lines per stanza

The use of the “s” sound

Ex.
Students
Shacked
Sails
Least
Lost
Parties
Deals
Sexy


Mr. Faust:
Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend; a highly successful scholar but one dissatisfied with his life who therefore makes a pact with the Devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures.
Use of Personal Pronouns
"We worked"
"We saved"
Together at the first stanza
Obvious separation in second stanza
(Me vs Him)
"I grew to love"
"“He wanted more”"


Mrs. Faust marries a very successful man who cares more about money, hobbies, and prostitutes than about her.

Mr. Faust dies and she gets to keep everything.

What Happens??
- Power
- Recognition
- Shallow
- Materialistic
- Alone
- Soulless

Not satisfied by her material goods
*Situational Irony
- Love is lost
- 'I' pronoun gets introduced
Straight to the point
Matter of fact
She is in control

(Hers - then his.
Shows Faust's knowledge and power
Very witty characteristics
*Both sell their souls
Mrs: Materialistic

Mr: Egoistical
Exhibits his notoriety
- Lust for fame
Very smart intellectual couple

- "Ideal couple"

- "Perfect"
Not only a lack of passion for love, but also for humans and their emotions
- Stanza criticizes our modern society and priorities in particular
What we do with our money
Repetition "We"

- Highlights its importance in the first 2 stazas

- Togetherness
Informal Speech
Informal Speech
Audience:
- Diary
Abundant use of periods, dashes, and enumeration (lists).

Fast-moving rhythm :
Contrast within religion
"Hurts like hell"

vs.

"Faust was Cardinal, Pope, knew more than God"

An occasion in which the outcome is significantly different from what was expected or considered appropriate
Enumeration
Likes the fact they are rich/successful
*No connection to the text in the stanza*
*Foreshadowing*
Many fullstops.
Short, concise sentences
Repetition: Faust
- Not expected
- Mrs Faust was away for a long time (traveling)
- Distancing
Short + Concise
Rhyming
Repetition: "It"
Faust's thoughts
Imagery
To the couple; intelligence equals success
Informal
Greedy
- Mrs. Faust seems to be living off o Mr. Faust's unethical decisions

- First he was considered a failure because of his pact made with the devil
- Mrs. Faust doesn't seem to mind it anymore now that he is dead.
Thank You.
Full transcript