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Carol Ann Duffy conveys the ideas of time passing, growing up and maturing in the poems 'Hometown' and 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class'. 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class' explores the change

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Introduction

Derek Lam Comparative Essay of 'Hometown' and 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class' Growing up is a process all of us, whether we like it or not, have to go through. Some would try their very best to hold on to every second of their childhood, whereas some would just pray for the arrival of adulthood. But no matter which type, they are still helpless when it comes to altering the hour-glass that connects every one of us. Carol Ann Duffy conveys the ideas of time passing, growing up and maturing in the poems 'Hometown' and 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class'. 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class' explores the change that takes place between childhood and adolescence and the things we learn at school from our teachers and from our peers, similarly, 'Hometown' talks about growing up and how drastic the changes can be after years. 'Hometown' is a first person narrative, unrhymed poem of seven stanzas with three verses per stanza, in contrast to 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class' which is also unrhymed but comprises four stanzas only, with eight verses in the first two stanzas and seven verses in the latter two and written in second person narrative. ...read more.

Middle

Similarly, Duffy used a metaphor of a tadpole changing from commas into exclamation marks to symbolize the growth of the persona and how he/her was gradually growing out of childhood and into adolescence. The transition from childhood to adulthood can also be spotted in the change of tone of the personae in the two poems. The tone of the persona in 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class' was very high spirited and carefree at first, "The laugh of a bell swung by a running child", personification is used here to get a clear sense of the children's laughter and sense of excitement in the atmosphere. But starting from the third stanza, puberty sets in and the tone of the persona coarsens as the "rough boy" tells the persona how he/she was born. "You kicked him, but stared / at your parents, appalled, when you got back home." Sexual frustration and images of passion fill the final stanza, "under the heavy, sexy, sky." In the beginning, school was better than home, the children were impatient to grow up and leave school. Duffy also uses the end of a school term to symbolize the end of childhood. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 'Hometown' the persona pictures himself getting old and recalls his early years at the same time. "Decades ahead of this, both of me, / then and now, pass each other like ghosts" This metaphor is used to emphasize the drastic changes the persona undergoed after years. Everything had changed for him, even his way of looking at things, he used to not like the sound of a bell, but after decades, he was moved to tears by the same sound. This is also a metaphor of the persona finally realizing he did not have much time left, whereas in the past the persona just took time for granted and didn't like the "tuneless, flat bell", thinking he has many years ahead of him. Duffy manages to describe scenes so clearly that they are just like photographs through the usage of imagery, metaphors, similes and figurative language. The inevitable forward motion of time is also clearly conveyed in the two poems. Time and tide wait for no man, no matter how hard we try, no one can stop time, yet if we keep all the memories in our hearts, we may re-live those moments anytime. 1251 words ...read more.

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