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A Comparison between 'Originally' and 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class'

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A Comparison between 'Originally' and 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class' 'In Mrs Tilscher's class' and 'Originally' are poems about the journey of life and the change from childhood into adulthood. Although 'Originally' is more traumatic there are many similarities between the two poems. They are both about moving on both spiritually and mentally, and explore ideas about identity and emigration. 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class' is a poem about the metaphorical journey throughout a young child's school year. The first verse of the poem has a joyful tone; the narrator of the poem seems happy and full of delight. It is written from a young girl's perspective on the things that take place in the course of the school year. The young girl who is narrating the poem explains to the reader both the things that she liked and disliked. The poem is written in chronological order and the different verses of the poem represent different periods throughout the school year. The first verse of the poem starts with: 'You could travel up the Blue Nile with your finger, tracing the route while Mrs Tilscher chanted the scenery'. This creates a vivid picture of the children tracing the route of the Nile on a map while Mrs Tilscher described the scenery and surroundings to the children. ...read more.


As you can see the tone of the poem has started to change. It started off happy and joyful and the mood has progressively altered. The language has become more grown-up and descriptive and the narrator has become more uncertain and anxious. 'You asked her how you were born and Mrs Tilscher smiled, then turned away.' The children have grown up quickly and begin to start questioning things. They are no longer babies. They want to find things out for themselves. As the end of the year drew near reports were handed out, the children were impatient to be grown 'and as you ran through the gates, the sky split open into a thunderstorm'. The last line of the poem describes the mood of the narrator. She was happy to be leaving school for the summer, but then she stopped to realise that she would be leaving Mrs Tilscher's class; this is when the sky burst open into a thunderstorm. The main themes of 'Originally' are childhood, identity, the journey of life, moving on and the process of growing up. Many opf the themes in 'Originally' are similar to those in 'Mrs Tilscher's Class'. ...read more.


There is a hint of immaturity in the second verse as well. 'Eating worms and shouting words you don't understand' This line represents the immaturity of the narrator at this point in the poem. Eating worms and shouting swear words tend to be things you do when you are very young. 'My parents' anxiety stirred like a loose tooth' This line explains the concern of the narrator's parents. The simile used is very clear as it explains how the parents are feeling. 'I want my own country, I said' This line sums up just how young and immature the narrator is. It is written in italics to give effect, to make it stand out because this line has great meaning to it. The third verse describes the girl reminiscing on how she felt adapting to the changes. 'You forget, or don't recall, or change, and seeing your brother swallow a slug, feel only a skelf of shame.' She is now starting to fit in but still feels a sense of loss. 'I remember my tongue shedding its skin like a snake'. This simile is very descriptive and you can vividly picture a snake shedding its skin. This corresponds to the changes the narrator is going through. I think she now feels embarrassed about the way she used to speak. She hesitates when asked where she originally came from. ...read more.

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