• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Critical Analysis of Carol Ann Duffy's 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class'

Extracts from this document...


A Critical Analysis of Carol Ann Duffy's 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class' In Mrs Tilscher's Class by Carol Ann Duffy, many issues are addressed about her class that play a part in explaining the subjects of the poem. To begin with the content and subjects of the poem are based around a school year in Mrs Tilscher's class. Her entire class is trapped and enthralled during the school day. They are taught information, into intricate detail. For example the poem begins with the line, 'you could travel up the blue Nile with your finger'. This simply begins the world of imagination to which each and every child is subjected. Straight after that, the poem goes on to describe how the children are chanted the scenery of the world by Mrs Tilscher. She remarkably inserts images of geographical places, historical events and general knowledge firmly in the children's brains. 'Tana', the great dam, 'Ethiopia', the last great King, Haile Selassie, 'Khartoum', where General Charles Gordon was assassinated on the step of the embassy and Lord Kitchener stepped in to relieve him at the siege. The great 'Asw´┐Żn' dam was known about and also the great pyramids of Egypt. Children viewed books as enthralling, fascinating and enjoyable to read which was remarkable for children of such different backgrounds. Carol Ann Duffy often uses short, sharp sentences in this poem to get her message across quickly and clearly. ...read more.


Finally the final stanza is perhaps the key verse. 'A tangible alarm made you always untidy, hot, fractious under the heavy, sexy sky'. This quote is once again emphasising the children's natural sexual inquisitiveness as they gradually become aware of their hormones. 'You asked her how you were born and Mrs Tilscher smiled, then turned away'. Mrs Tilscher and her children are in a state of innocence and what they ask is exactly what she tries to protect them from. She doesn't want them to become in contact with the outside world so therefore she is not going to tell them, as she does not want them to know. It is clear that Mrs Tilscher is looked on with affection and that she loves them and doesn't want them to grow up. The term comes to an end, all are impatient to grow up and gain more freedom, and prosper within the high hopes of their lives. 'You ran through the gates, impatient to be grown, as the sky split open into a thunderstorm', the sky splits, they are impatient to grow up and enjoy themselves. However it is clear that they do not know what quite to expect as a lot more comes with adulthood than meets the eye, for example life is complicated, decisions have to be made and many, many responsibilities are given to you. ...read more.


The poet has clearly made a division in the middle of the poem to emphasise the change, from good to bad. At the end of the poem, the metaphorical storm has been gathering since July. The 'sky splitting open' suggests that knowledge and adulthood are nothing but a shock. YOU are subjected to the shocks of the thunderstorm of adulthood which all have to pass through. This is known as a rite of passage that everyone has to pass through. There is no obvious sense of rhythm nor is there a rhyming scheme in the poem. The sentences do not seem to flow clearly. This is probably because there are so many short sentences. Each line is about seven words long and very descriptive. This gives the impression that once again, great detail is used. 'The scent of a pencil slowly, carefully shaved', the use of alliteration here creates an atmosphere, which is so familiar to the readers. It is almost as if the reader finds it possible to enter Mrs Tilscher's class just by the picture the poet paints in the poem. This poem is very true and realistic, as it happens to everyone, it is a rite of passage. The children leave Mrs Tilscher and remember her with great affection, as it is the end of an era, which shall never be forgotten by anyone who was taught by Mrs Tilscher. You grow up, from age to age, until you reach the 'thunderstorm of adulthood' which all have to contend with. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Carol Ann Duffy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Carol Ann Duffy essays

  1. A Critical Analysis Of A Satirical Piece by Carol Ann Duffy called "Poet For ...

    a racial slang term for Italian, which originated during the Second World War when Italy formed an alliance with Germany.

  2. "Comprehensive" By Carol Ann Duffy - review

    This also shows that food is an important religious element for them, as Muslims fast regularly to thank and give praise to God. Religion: Masjid, turbans, Moslem, Mecca. All these terms except "turbans" are used by the immigrant speakers. The impression this gives is that they are cultured and value their religion.

  1. Carol Ann Duffy conveys the ideas of time passing, growing up and maturing in ...

    Colored shapes" where the sentence structure and words used are a lot more childlike. The innocence of the children were also conveyed in the second stanza where they had no awareness of Brady and Hindley, two dangerous killers of their time.

  2. "In Mrs. Tilscher's Class" by Carol Ann Duffy deals with one central theme. ...

    Tilscher's chanting brings about connotations of music in her voice and melodic speech. It also brings about a sense of religion, as she is made comparable to a pastor in a church chanting a sermon, enlightening and entrancing us all. Mrs. Tilscher is portrayed as a compassionate teacher: "Mrs.

  1. Carol Ann Duffy uses the theme of growing up in her poem 'In Mrs ...

    Carol Ann Duffy, I think, has added these to humiliate them and to show the reader that the children are safe and in a totally different world to the murderers. 'Mrs Tilscher loved you. Some mornings, you found she'd left a gold star by your name' the poet here is

  2. Carol Ann Duffy Shooting Stars Analysis

    ?I could see a child? the soldiers had no morals, the meaning of right and wrong had been torn away from the soldiers and acts of brutality were happening to women and children. ?I shot her in the eye? Duffy says this so carelessly within the poem to highlight just

  1. In Mrs. Tilscher's Class - Carol Ann Duffy Poem Analysis

    ?Sugar paper. Coloured shapes. Brady and Hindley faded, like the faint, uneasy smudge of a mistake? Contains juxtaposition, which is a dramatic effect as it involves two opposite images. This shows the reader a comparison of the classroom as a safe peaceful place comparing to the real world and the grim reality of outside the classroom.

  2. Close Analysis of Carol Ann Duffys Mrs Aesop.

    As expected Duffy has empowered the female of the poem by portraying Mrs Aesop as unhappy and rather annoyed at Aesop. ?Well, let me tell you now that the bird in his hand shat on his sleeve, never mind the two worth less in the bush.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work