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Education For Leisure Summary & Analysis
by Carol Ann Duffy

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“Education for Leisure” was written in 1985 by the British poet Carol Ann Duffy. It depicts the inner life of a disturbed teenager as he tortures and kills animals while proclaiming his genius. This twisted “education for leisure” ultimately culminates in the teenager stealing a kitchen knife and going on a violent rampage. Duffy wrote the poem as a social commentary while teaching in a school in London’s East End, and its subject matter has long been controversial. In 2008, protestors successfully lobbied to have the poem removed from a school anthology in the United Kingdom, although some schools have continued to teach the poem.

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