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The Devil's Wife
Transcript of The Devil's Wife
. The murders took place between July 1963 and October 1965 around Greater Manchester
. The victims were five children aged between ten and seventeen – Paulinee Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans – at least four of whom were sexually assaulted
. The murders are named, ‘The Moors Murders’ as two of the victims were discovered in graves dug on Saddleworth Moor
1.Hindley’s sinister attraction to the devil – Ian Brady
2.Her involvement in the murders, and the trial and imprisonment
3.Her sense of dislocation and denial
4.Her religious belief and confessions of further crimes
5.Her appeal for parole
‘The Devil was one of the men at work’ – Myra Hindley was just a normal office clerk, it shows the power of people (more specifically men) as Ian Brady influenced her to do such horrific crimes. ‘Two black slates/for eyes. Thumped wound of a mouth’ shows the Devil’s violence and ill treatment of her. The use of enjambment shocks the reader as they learn how the devil treats her cruelly. ‘I flew in the chains over the wood where we’d buried the doll’ – suggests the shocking image of a child being buried
-the fact that it’s a doll shows how tiny and precious the child is as a doll is delicate, naïve and completely innocent – shows Myra’s guilt
-The ‘chains’ may suggest that she is being weighted down with regret and fear as she is only a human being having to live with the burdens of her cruel actions
-The fact that she also doesn’t say child or go into much detail about the burial of the ‘doll’ shows how she can’t deal with the reality of what she has done – she is in denial
‘Nobody liked my hair. Nobody liked how I spoke’
-The media are against her
-Repetition of ‘nobody’ shows how alone she is
-She’s bitter – believes the whole world is against her
‘I felt like this: Tongue of stone’ – The Devil has silenced her and the use of caesura accentuates the tone of this section. This may also reflect how she didn’t come forward or admit these crimes to anyone – he has ripped out her voice (similar to Little Red Cap – women being silenced by men) 3. Bible Bible is written as a sonnet.
Duffy shows that Myra Hindley is distancing herself from the crime by using repetition in a chant-like voice that signals disintegration of the self; ‘Send me a TV crew send me a journalist’
However a sonnet is associated with love and romance, having these rambling stanzas of a chaotic, murdering, emotionally disturbed woman seems strange. However it is put in a tight controlled manner suggesting that there is a method or purpose in her madness.
4. Night ‘words that crawl out of the wall’
-These words have haunted and hounded her throughout her imprisonment
-Words written as graffiti by other prisoners
-Words that have been used in the media and members of the public
-She has a lived in a four wall confinement for most of her life, so the words that ‘crawl out of the wall’ are the words she has been haunted by and reminded constantly by her memory and conscience 5. Appeal The reiteration of ‘if’ (anaphora) contrasts these punishments with life imprisonment
However the ‘if’ changes to ‘but’ in the final couplet making the reader question the effect that Myra’s actions has had on their own life