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The Devil's Wife by Mind Map: The Devil
4.8 stars - 4 reviews range from 0 to 5

The Devil's Wife

1. Dirt

Origins of her relationship with Brady

"The Devil was one of the men at work.", Mythical evil being in hum-drum situation, Brady as a metaphorical devil

"Looked at the girls in the office as though they were dirt", Misogynistic view of women, Use of simile

"Didn't flirt. Didn't speak. Was sarcastic and rude if he did", Behaved aloof - rude, unpleasant., Hindley is attracted to "bad boys"

"I'd stare him out, chewing my gum, insolent, dumb", Hindley pretended to be unintimidated, unimpressed, Classic young girl rebellion

"I'd lie on my bed at home, on fire for him.", Secretly in love with him, Metaphor shows strength of her feelings

"He bit my breast. His language was foul. He entered me.", Crude, animalistic., Double meaning of "entered", Sexual, Control of her heart

"I swooned in my soul.", She was won over completely, spiritually, She was under his spell

"I went mad for the sex", Colloquial language, Again, crude, unsophisticated

The murders themselves

"We drove to the woods and he made me bury a doll.", Matter of fact tone, Unable to acknowledge they had killed a person - calls her "a doll", Suggests Hindley thought it was a plaything

"It was either the woods or looking at playgrounds, fairgrounds.", The pair became focussed on the killings, Duffy lists where the children were picked up, Creepy suggestion of "looking at", As though they were spying on children, "in the rain", Sad, pathetic, haunting atmosphere, Ominous

Her appearance

Classic image that was circulated in the papers, "Tongue of stone", Silent, "Two black slates for eyes.", Emotionless connotation of slate - stones, "Thumped wound of a mouth", Violent imagery, Reflects the violence she was guilty of, Bloody, "Nobody's Mam", An idea Duffy later follows up, That Hindley was not a woman, Incapable of maternal love

2. Medusa

The claustrophobic relationship

She changed her appearance for Brady

"Nobody liked my hair. Nobody liked how I spoke.", She felt loved by Brady because nobody else like her, Repetition emphasises her isolation, Her desire for love

Blames Brday, Claims he manipulated her affection for him, "He held my heart in his fist and he squeezed it dry", Mix of imagery both bloody and romantic, Contrast of "heart" and "fist"

The trial and judgement

Her sentence

She became so bitter because of the public hatred of her, "I heard the judge summing up. I didn’t care.", Lost any desire to live

Convicted for life, "I was left to rot. I was locked up, double locked. I know they chucked the key. ", Emphatic - no chance of being released, Colloquial "chucked" suggests she doesn't care, She only cares about her missing lover, Reiterated in "It was nowt to me.", She didn't appreciate how serious her situation was, Only realises later, "But life, they said, means life"

The public image of Hindley

"I gave the cameras my Medusa stare", Medusa was able to turn a man to stone by looking him in the eye, Hindley's image could stop people in their tracks, It has become mythical and horrific, But is it a true representation of her?, Contrast this bitterness with her vulnerable "Nobody liked my hair. Nobody liked how I spoke."

Unable to accept what she has done

"I flew in my chains over the wood where we’d buried the doll.", Her chains are her handcuffs - a symbol of incarceration

Repetition of things she knows for sure, "I know... I know... I know...", Contrast with "But I cannot remember how or when or precisely where", Is she being selective with her memory to escape punishment?

Still desires Brady

"I wrote to him every day in our private code.", Hindley and Brady communicated by letter whilst under arrest, "I thought in twelve, fifteen, we’d be out on the open road.", Hindley naively hopes to be released and reunited with him, Her obsessive love did not dim because she was in prison

Begins to fall out of love with him, "Dying inside", Double meaning, Dying in prison, Emotionally dying in her heart, "I howled in my cell.", Weeping for her stupidity, Her heart broken, "If the Devil was gone then how could this be hell", How could she experience such pain without the devil?, Brady had abandoned her, Play on words, The devil as Brady, The biblical devil

3. Bible

Hindley's denial continued, after incarceration

She always insisted Brady had committed the acts and that she was never present, Brady quickly confessed his guilt, "I never not in a million years it was him"

"I said, No not me I didn’t I couldn’t I wouldn’t. Can’t remember no idea no not in the room", Lack of punctuation suggests desperate tone

"a lawyer a vicar a priest. Send me a TV crew send me a journalist... a shrink where’s my MP send him to me", Hindley used every possible help to prove her innocence - Duffy lists them here

Constant barrage of denial suggests determination and desperation, Suggests breakdown of her mental health

A sonnet in form, Ironic as it details the breakdown of a relationship, Not in any way romantic

In prison she adopted the Catolic faith

5. Appeal

Double meaning of appeal

Reaching out to persuade

Also legal appeal - attempt to overturn the sentence, In 200 Hindley tried to have the sentence overturned as "cruel"

Hindley said she would rather have hanged

Hanging had been abolished in the UK just months before the Moors Murderers trial

The poem lists different forms of capital punishment

She feels that if she had been killed for her crimes she would have had closure for herself, but also for the families she destroyed

"If life means life means life means life"

This is ambiguous, Does she mean that taking a life should result in losing your life?, Or does she mean you should be made to live in punishment?

"What did I do to us all when I was the Devil's wife?"

Suggests that she has tarnished the popular view that women are too maternal to commit horrific crimes, She has smeared the name of her gender

"us all", Everyone has the capacity to do horrible things in the right circumstances, Hindley is a reminder of this truth


4. Night

Hindley's decision in 1987 to confess her guilt

Brady's influence had waned by this point

Reference to biblical "long dark night of the soul" before forgiveness is earned

"the long, fifty-year night", Hindley says she has spent her whole life seeking forgiveness

"words that crawl out of the wall"

Could be talking about the process of self-reflection

Could be words that are heard through the wall of the prison

Imagery of Hindley gradually being surrounded by these words

"Suffer. Monster. Burn in Hell"

Words used against Hindley in the press and media

She has come to realise why she is so hated

Stark contrast with the denial of"Bible"

"When morning comes I shall finally tell"

Hindley has decided to confess, Admits her guilt to the public AND to herself

She has tired of lying


The closing of a prayer, She has made peace with herself, Shows remorse?

The facts

Brady and Hindley murdered 5 children in the 1960s

The children were sexually assaulted

They buried them on the Yorkshire Moors

Not all of the bodies have been recovered