Themes and links to other poems

While this poem touches on the effects of infidelity, this is not really a central concern.

Indeed, here the woman who has suffered the betrayal is depicted not as a victim but as a predator. She converts her lover’s unfaithfulness and lies into something that can provide sustenance not just for herself but for her friends.

The overriding theme then is the sinister and negative aspects of some female relationships.

Often society elevates sisterhood and sororities into something empowering and noble, yet here Lochhead exposes the corrosive, toxic effects of some friendships.

The behaviour of the women is loaded with misandry and their contempt for men is almost tangible.

The conclusion of the poem, in which men are depicted as prey to be hunted is especially revealing.

Lochhead forces us to confront our preconceived notions of female relationships. She conveys a facet of these friendships which, while perhaps unappetising, is nonetheless true.

There are thematic links between this poem and My Rival’s House.

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