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Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy

             How does Duffy present love in "Valentine" and one other poem you have studied?.
             In the poems "Valentine" and "Adultery," love is presented in very different ways. "Valentine" describes the gift for a lover, such as one you would give on Valentines Day. However, the gift is just an onion. The poem describes why it is a powerful gift of love, rather than roses or chocolates. The onion becomes a metaphor for love. In "Adultery," Duffy writes about the sense of danger and excitement of an adulterer, through the eyes of the person who is betrayed. The title "Valentine" creates certain expectations, which Duffy doesn't satisfy. The idea of Valentine is love and the onion is not a very good way of showing it. Valentine gifts show how important the person receiving it is to the person giving the gift, so an onion won't give the best impression. Duffy spends the rest of the poem proving to us how the onion is more faithful and reflects the true nature of love. In this poem, Duffy rejects normal symbols of love, such as red roses or chocolates in favour of an onion. There are many quotations that refer to the onion being like a normal valentine gift, as well as quotations showing that Duffy is mocking Valentine's Day. The phrase "like the careful undressing of love,"" shows how the onion is full of layers and as they go further into the relationship and get to know each other more, they are slowly "undressing"" its layers until the middle which is marriage which Duffy refers to near the end of the poem, "Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring".".
             In the quotation, "It will blind you with tears like a lover", the onion is comparable to a lover and the way that love sometimes leaves us in tears. A big part of being in a relationship is also the risk of being hurt or betrayed. Duffy conveys this in the way that onions sting our eyes when we try to get to the heart or middle of it, the same way we may be hurt by another person's heartlessness.

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