The Poem “Model Village” by Carol Ann Duffy Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Jun 2nd, 2020


The poem “model village” is written by Professor Carol Ann Duffy. Duffy was the first woman to be appointed British poet laureate. In this poem, the writer exposes the hidden secrets of the society that go unnoticed. The language presented or used in the poem sounds like an adult having a conversation with a little child. (Michelis 222)

In the poem “model village,” Duffy uses dramatic and descriptive stanzas to show how individuals are complex. Looks are deceptive and an individual cannot be judged based on looks. The language used in the poem sound like, an adult is explaining the details of a model village to a child and the voices in the poem represent a village community. (Michelis, 214)

This essay will focus on giving an in depth discussion or explanation of the poem “model village” which is written by Carol Ann Duffy. There will also be a criticism of the poem’s negative aspects like revenge and condemning the church unjustifiably.


Our present society is filled with a lot of social vices and it is very important to imbibe good values into the younger generation. Revenge is a very negative attitude that should never be encouraged in the society regardless of the circumstances. If a mother stops her daughter from marrying a particular man, she has a very good reason for her actions. The mother’s actions are in the best interest of the daughter. Also, been unable to marry a particular man that a lady loves is not a yardstick to kill her mother or commit murder. Besides killing her mother will not enable her marry the man she supposedly loves. (Michelis, 312)

For whatever reasons, murder is an offence and it should be discouraged at all times. But the poem seems to encourage this dastard and evil act instead of condemning it out rightly. (Michelis, 612)

The Church

Apart from the story of the frustrated spinster who committed murder under the flimsy excuse of love, the poem also paints a negative picture of the church. Just like every other place in the world, the church is also filled with good and evil. But the good in the church supersede and outshines the evil in the church. A more positive picture of the church would have been presented due to the fact that, the church serves as a model to a lot of people. Also, instead of using the act of a single man and his lustful desires to condemn the church, it would have been more appropriate if the author had shown how responsible and inspirational the church has been. The vicar and the choir mistress are not the only people who make up the church. (Michelis, 521)


The poem “model village” is described as giving voice to haunted, repressed and isolated individuals but in reality, it only destroys this set of people. Killing a mother does not in any way help a spinster who is already frustrated and depressed. Also, exposing the deed of a vicar and a choir mistress does not augur well for the society. In as much as the poem does well by exposing these hidden acts in the society, the writer should have been more discrete in doing so. (Michelis, 514)

The title of the poem suggests a perfect place which is worthy of emulation but the description of the village contradicts it. With the aforementioned reasons, it can be concluded that, “model village” as a poem is standard literally but the moral of the poem is highly negative especially on the younger generation. (Michelis, 625)

Works cited

Michelis, Angelica. The Poetry of Carol Ann Duffy: Choosing Tough Words. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003. Print.

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