Analysis Of Human Interest By Carol Ann Duffy

Decent Essays

German-Canadian Eckhart Tolle once said, “Where there is anger there is always pain underneath.” Such a statement is hardly profound, but perhaps it is the key to understanding the narrator’s motivation behind killing his loved one in Carol Ann Duffy’s “Human Interest.” In the poem, an unnamed narrator speaks to the reader from his prison cell, where he is carrying a fifteen-year minimum sentence at for killing his cheating girlfriend. Throughout the short four-stanza poem, he takes us the reader through the how and the why behind the crime, but the most compelling part of “Human Interest” lies in its conclusion, where the narrator completely abandons all indications of anger to reveal raw grief, pain, and perhaps regret: “When I think about her now, I near choke with / with grief” (Duffy 12-13). From a superficial standpoint, the first characteristic about Duffy’s writing is its rigid structure. Like the cells in the prison the narrator writes from, “Human Interest” is strictly segregated into near-perfect rectangular blocks. The 14-line poem is a sonnet, split up into four stanzas that alternate between containing three and four lines each; most of the lines contain exactly ten syllables, another traditional characteristic of the sonnet. The only exceptions to this rule occur at lines 9 and 14; in line 9 the author laments that how his lover “tore him apart,” and in line 14 (which will be examined in more detail shortly) he expresses regret by stating he “wouldn’t harm a

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