Apparently AQA examination board have taken the very difficult decision to ban Carol Ann Duffy’s dramatic monologue ‘Education for Leisure’ after the dizzying pressure of THREE complaints…
Maybe irony has no place in the complainers’ reading experience? Otherwise they would notice that AQA also include in the same anthology two of Browning’s famous monologues involving murder -most-foul…
Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet are also regularly taught on the AQA syllabus….murder again, sexuality , jealousy and violent assault. What of Hardy, Dickens? TOO MUCH GOING ON THERE SURELY? I do wonder that Browning’s ‘My last Duchess’ is allowed to stay…the speaker in this very famous poem has coldly disposed of one wife and the implication is that he will continue along this psychopathic path very soon and without impediment or conscience. However this poem is ‘veiled’ through its language and irony in a way that Duffy’s is not and perhaps this ‘difficulty’ has protected Browning from the intervention of simplistic D Grade complainers?
Should we just read cookery books then or are they too transgressive? I do wonder what such complainers read on holiday? I rather think they don’t read anything and push lots and LOTS of important paper around. Bureaucracy is suffocating individuality in the UK and we are being controlled by ‘guardians’ of our civil liberties. Banning books is popular within any totalitarian state. This news makes me feel VERY uneasy as a citizen of the UK and as a reader and teacher. ‘Minds’ are not contaminated by Duffy’s writing, they are enlightened and provoked.
Let those who prefer dogma relocate to some nice country where dictatorship rules and they can feel safe from thought!!! Lots of rules too!
Does AQA have any backbone? I rather think they are symptomatic of this reactive, ‘populist’ government…let those who like shuffling paper keep to their career choice and let those who love reading CHOOSE!
Have AQA any reading sense at all? They clearly do not understand the poem and its irony. TOO SUBTLE!! This is unfortunately part and parcel of this current climate of fascistic interference with civil liberties. IGNORANCE proliferates and Educational policy is hijacked by those who know NOTHING about Education. This smacks of cowardice and intellectual dwarfism.
I am very glad I was educated years ago when reading was valued and openness encouraged.
God Only knows what AQA will do with Shakespeare if this is representative of their new policy on censorship!
I do believe that AQA and complainers should read Dickens’ Hard Times?
Let’s hope Carol Ann Duffy is the next Poet Laureate then and the bleaters can trundle back to their folds!
And here is a really powerful and ironic poem by Carol ann Duffy called ‘Education for Leisure!
Today I am going to kill something. Anything.
I have had enough of being ignored and today
I am going to play God. It is an ordinary day,
a sort of grey with boredom stirring in the streets.
I squash a fly against the window with my thumb.
We did that at school. Shakespeare. It was in
another language and now the fly is in another language.
I breathe out talent on the glass to write my name.
I am a genius. I could be anything at all, with half
the chance. But today I am going to change the world.
Something’s world. The cat avoids me. The cat
knows I am a genius, and has hidden itself.
I pour the goldfish down the bog. I pull the chain.
I see that it is good. The budgie is panicking.
Once a fortnight, I walk the two miles into town
for signing on. They don’t appreciate my autograph.
There is nothing left to kill. I dial the radio
and tell the man he’s talking to a superstar.
He cuts me off. I get our bread-knife and go out.
The pavements glitter suddenly. I touch your arm.
How to write a good essay!
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