Flashcards in Mrs Midas Deck (54)
It was late September.
The fact that Duffy opens the poem with a short sentence that includes "September" indicate that the story is going to experience a big change and foreshadows that it is going to be a bad change as September is in Autumn which symbolises when things fade and are golden (hinting at Midas' gift)
I'd just poured a glass of wine, begun to unwind
The kitchen filled with the steam of itself
The fact that the kitchen "filled the steam of itself" makes it sound as if the kitchen has come to life. This idea contrasts witht the of life that is occuring outside.
The fact that it was filling "itself" foreshadows Midas' arrogance.
Wiped the other's glass like a brow
The fact that Mrs Midas cannot see what is happening outside reflects her blindness to the arrogance that her husband has and the true self-centered person that he is.
The kitchen seems as it has been brought to life as it has a "brow" which contrasts with the death of life outside.
The fact that it is a brow suggests a 'raised eyebrow' which Mrs Midas had as she looked outside the window.
He was standing under the pear tear snapping a twig
Harsh p,t,g sounds/end stopped line
Mrs Midas makes it seem as if everything was normal but the harsh p,t and g sounds foreshadow that a disruption is about to come.
What is special about the first few paragraphs?
There is a lack of techniques which suggests that life used to be very simple. As the poem progresses, there are more techniques and more complex ones which suggests that there life had become more complex as it progressed due to Midas' gift.
the dark of the ground seems to drink the light of the sky
The gold from Midas' gift is represented by the dark. Due to its strong power, his gift kills everything very easily as is suggested by the word choice of "drink". The life that he kills is represented by "the light of the sky". This also foreshadows his death.
'the melting of Autumn'
Autumn is a golden season which reflects the gold of Midas' gift. The "melting" part suggests that Midas is going to kill all of the beauty of Autumn - the life.
It sat in his palm like a lightbulb. On.
Simile/Single word sentence
The pear that he has turned into gold is compared to a lightbulb as they are similar in size and they both shine brighly.
The lightbulb also suggests the idea that Midas had to choose his gift. "On." suggests that it actually happened. The full stops suggests that he is shocked that they happened.
Is he putting fairy lights on the tree?
Shows Mrs Midas' whimiscal tone and how she is trying to make light of the situation by joking about it. The "fairy lights" suggests that there are many things that Midas has turned into gold and that they are shining.
He came into the house. The doorknobs gleamed. He drew the blinds.
Demonstrates Mrs Midas shock and how quickly the changes happened yet, Midas is calm. She doesn't understand what is going on. The use of the conversional tone attracts the reader.
You know the mind
Reveals her thoughts and feelings & engages the reader.
Field of the Cloth of Gold
Refers to the meeting between the King of England and the King of France during which both kings try to outdo each other by showing off their wealth. This refers to the idea that Midas thought that he was just like the kings as now he had all of this gold and felt wealthy.
He sat in that chair like a king on a burnished throne
Just as a King sits on a burnished throne and feels might and powerful so too does Midas feel like he is very fortunate to have his gift and feels wealthy as a result. This idea emphasises Midas' ego.
strange, wild, vain
"strange" suggests that Mrs Midas didn't recognise Midas' face of greed as he has never shown his ego side to her before.
"wild" suggests that the gold was making Midas go crazy.
"vain" suggests that Midas thoughts he was better than everyone else just because he had this new power.
What in the name of God is going on? He started to laugh.
Shows that Mrs Midas is very confused about the situation. Midas laughs as it very ironic that she asked "in the name of God" as it was God himself that gave Midas his gift. This shows that Midas is slowly becoming more and more crazy due to his obsession with wealth.
I served up the meal.
Shows Mrs Midas is trying to carry on with her normal life despite what has happened. The short sentence reflects her short temper.
Within seconds he was spitting out the teeth of the rich
Midas was trying to eat the corn but he turned it into corn. The golden corn is compared to the teeth of the rich as they are similar in size and rich people are associated with golden teeth which is why they are compared. The fact he can't eat foreshadows that Midas is going to die from starvation.
I poured with a shaking hand
Shows Mrs Midas is frightened that her husband will turn her into gold with just one touch.
glass, goblet, golden chalice, drank.
The alliteration of the "g" reflects the gift that Midas has recieved of the gold and can suggest that due to his greed, Mrs Midas wants to gag. The alliteration of "l" suggests the luxuries that the gold has given. The "golden chalice" is a reference to the poisned chalice implying that the gold will kill Midas.
It was then that I started to scream
Shows how Mrs Midas has finally realised the magnitude of the problem when Midas started choking on his food.
He sank to his knees
Shows that Midas himself never realised what he had wished for and that he never thought it through as it suggests that he can die.
I finished the wine
Suggests that Mrs Midas cannot believe what has happened and is 'drinking her sorrows away'. Midas can't drink the wine as he will turn it into gold.
I made him sat at the other side of the room and keep his hands to himself.
Shows that Midas still seeks an intimate relationship with Mrs Midas but she fears too much that he will turn her or anything into gold and therefore, doesn't let him touch her.
I locked the cat in the cellar. I moved the phone. The toilet I didn't mind.
Short sentences/Humorous tone
The short sentences reflect how quickly all of these things could be changed into gold within just one touch. She moves the cat and the phone as they are important to her. Her humorous tone is revealed by "the toilet I didn't mind" as she tries to find light in the dark situation by at least having a golden toilet.
I couldn't believe my ears:
Reflects the speaker's disbelief upon finding out about how Midas got his gift.
Look, we all have wishes; granted. But who has wishes granted?
Mrs Midas conveys that she realises that dreams are not meant to happen and that they are there to give us a purpose in life - something to work towards. She conveys that no one has their dreams realised but of course the one person who does, is her 'fool of a husband' which contributes to the humorous tone.
Single word sentence
Emphasises how disgusted she is by her husband and also reflects how Midas has isolated himself.
Do you know about gold? It feeds no one.
Mrs Midas emphasises that the true value of gold is that it is actually worth nothing. This is because you can't eat it or drink it therefore, it is not of survival value. She realises that life is not all about wealth and that gold is just an object that human's have given value to.