Analysis of Warming Her Pearls by Carol Ann Duffy

The poem Warming Her Pearls by Carol Ann Duffy explores the unrequited love between a maid and her mistress. The mistress of the house ordered her maid to wear her pearls before functions as it improves the aesthetic quality of the pearls poem highlights both the gender and socioeconomic inequality in society through the personas unfulfilled desire. Through the poem Warming Her Pearls  Duffy challenges typical assumptions asserted in our literary heritage and gives a voice to a previously unheard member of society. Duffy presents a shockingly intimate picture of unrequited love between two members of the same gender but different socioeconomic statuses she does list a question the reason some relationships are perceived as illegitimate or scandalous. Through the exploration of the personas erotic obsession the juxtaposing labor and luxury throughout the poem and the motif of temperature.

Warming Her Pearls by Carol Ann Duffy

 Firstly erotic obsession the mistress's powers are a symbol of the persona's desire and represent a tangible link between her own body and her mistress's body. The pearls are a physical embodiment of the personas sexual obsession with her mistress. As her maid the persona would see and touch her mistress's body daily their relationship would be intimate purely on account of the day-to-day tasks the persona will be expected to fulfill. it's this intimacy and proximity which has spurred the personas exotic erotic fantasy of a relationship with her mistress.

 Throughout the poem, Warming Her Pearls the references to pearls change to demonstrate the personas lack of sexual fulfillment and her desire turn to frustration. Duffy plays on literary traditions to introduce the pearls and the mistress like Browning's poem The last Duchess and Andrew Marvell's poem To his Coy Mistress, the quotation my mistress bidding me weddin denotes possession and the reader is led to believe until the true relationship becomes clear that the mistress is subservient one in the relay and the persona is the dominant one. This subversion of literary tradition highlights the inequality of women in so much of our literary heritage. Furthermore, we're reminded of a woman's role as a sexual object regardless of her power or status within a relationship. In addition, the mention of skin is sensual the stirrer interrupts the personas real fantasy of her mistress next to her own skin. The pearls become the proxy for the intimacy she cannot have with her mistress.

 The erotic obsession is seen as dangerous the obsessions spans night and day and the couples become her rope she's both bound to and condemned by her mistress. This highlights the danger of such an inappropriate fantasy yet still the persona cannot help but fantasize about her mistress's slim hand as she undresses at the end of the day.

 The pearls symbolizes both the personas fantasy and her pleasure when they are gone I feel their absence and burn the sexual frustration reaches its peak. Secondly Duffy uses the juxtaposition of the personas Labor's and the mistress's luxurious lifestyle to demonstrate the socio-economic background as the reason that person's feelings are unrequited. The personas manual labor is referred to often next to my skin her pearls was the mistress house jewelry to show her status the persona has only her body and her work to rely on. There the more Duffy juxtaposes action with passivity she fan herself whilst I work willingly this is ironic and then her imagined relationship with the mistress she's completely passive and unable to act. It's clear there was very little to no pro sover in social spheres as the persona admits I dream about her in my attic bed the attic bed creates sympathy by reminding us the reader of the personas poverty her isolation from her mistress and also the implication that the roof over her head belongs ultimately to her mistress's husband. Our status that persona imagines her body holds its own power to leave lasting mark on her mistress my faint persistence scent beneath her French perfume reveals the personas fantasy that the musk of her own body will be perceptible to others who are close to her mistress it becomes her way to mark her territory. Thirdly the motif of hot and cold further shows an unrequited relationship was and the distance between the two whilst the persona burns into sia the mistress remains cold and impassive. More artful if the mistress's exploitation of the personas body of her heat is used to give luster and shine to pearls she can never dream of possessing. My mistress bids me wear them warm them Duffy reminders of the marginalization and oppression of women on two levels first the use of the maids body to warm the pearls and second the very reason the pearls have been warmed is to satisfy a judgment or male gaze which would see its women dressed to seduce and impresssomething the mistress herself as a victim of. Despite her obvious lack of passion the mistresses cool white throat becomes an object of desire whereas the personas heat and passion become a commodity.

 My slow heat entering each pearls a slow heat represents the personas sexual desire the assonance of the long and the slows the line down to a tantalizingly slow speed emphasizing the eroticism of warming the pearls and their personas experience with this. When the mistress goes to bed so therefore soon as fantasy must fade the pearls are calling even now the loss of heat represents the disappointment and sexual frustration as a physical connection between maid and mistress is lost as soon as the pearls are no longer connecting their fates/body.

In Conclusion is interesting about the poem of boundaries and unrequited love particularly one written by a lesbian from a working-class background is that the most evident boundary between mistress and persona is not gender but class begging the question which is the more difficult boundary to overcome.
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