Uploaded by Samuel Ho

Valentine - Essay Plan

Plan: Valentine
1. Critical of idealistic notions of love that are common on Valentine’s Day:
- ‘not a red rose or a satin heart’ – critical tone for classical affection = poem is ‘in
medias res’ form = which creates sense of difference to convention
- ‘not a cute card or kissogram’ = critical tone, onion = symbol for love
- ‘possessive and faithful’ = personification of love (onion) = juxtaposes images of
ownership and loyalty = language is passionate = excitement of physical intimacy
- BROADER MEANING – Valentine’s Day gifts promote materialism, resisting use
of sonnet form = symbolises speaker’s unconventional views on love
2. Speaker wants to show lover how unrealistic societal views are of love
- ‘will stay on your lips’ – metaphor of onion = depicts grief and heartache in love
- ‘lethal’ – can be positive and negative aspects of love
- ‘cling’ – possessive nature = can’t be one-sided, commitment needed from both
- ‘knife’ - draws attention to painful aspects of love = end of relationships can end
in jealousy = don’t force anything
- BROADER MEANING: gives realistic account of love = need to be two-sided and
honest to work = free verse structure of poem depicting that love is not always
easy and there can be bumps in the road
3. Onion evokes natural, well-rounded view of love
- ‘careful undressing of love’ – depicts layers of onion – explicit image
- ‘Here’ – monosyllabic imperative = intimate passing of onion = relationships need
to be equal/respectful to succeed
- ‘blind you with tears’ = depicts watering eyes when cutting onion = love can
cause emotional pain = love can be blinding, with the enjambment in following
lines depicting how volatile emotions can be in relationships
- ‘take it’ – imperative = pace inconsistent = love can be hard = needs to be two
sided to work in the long term = one must together as a couple to succeed
- BROADER MEANING: depicts dangers of love = emotional trauma = highlights
problems of being emotionally attached