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Childhood - Frances Cornford. Grown ups are old on purpose. Grown ups are grand on purpose. This is what the speaker first thinks in Cornfords Childhood. But as the poem goes on he reaches an epiphany; realising that grown ups are no more in con

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Introduction

Grown ups are old on purpose. Grown ups are grand on purpose. This is what the speaker first thinks in Cornford's "Childhood". But as the poem goes on he reaches an epiphany; realising that grown ups are no more in control of their destiny as he, a child is. The speaker's perception is limited by their understanding of the world and growing up. It is only after an encounter with an aunts friend does she come to a realisation. Cornford uses rhyming and varies the line length to help convey the childlike style of the poem. In the first part of the poem, Cornford uses descriptive language to paint a picture of adults. ...read more.

Middle

This suggests the speaker has broke out from the "banisters" and has a new view of adults; becoming more mature as well. Throughout the poem, Cornford varies the line length to further give the impression of a child's writing. Instead of having a structure, the line length seems to be random, and something a child would do. The second part of the poem contains the speaker's epiphany, as she realises that grown ups are as equally helpless as she is. The realisation begins with "Till through the banisters I watched one day". The banisters act as a metaphor, with the speaker looking out from the bars within her mind, which limit her understanding of grown ups. ...read more.

Conclusion

The poem then ends with the speaker realising that grown ups are "helplessly old" as she is "helplessly young". Cornford repetition of the adjective "helplessly" conveys the mutual weakness and powerlessness of the two characters and also provides a nice round ending to the poem. At the start of the poem, the speaker is a naive child, who believes Grown ups chose to age so they could "be grand". But by the end, he realises that they are not so different. Cornford portrays the limitation of peoples understanding on topics in "Childhood" with a simple example of a child's view of grown ups. Her use of simple language creates the effect of a child's writing and helps gives the poem a light-hearted tone. ...read more.

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Some good points are made in this essay but avoid repetition and always read closely to achieve depth of understanding.

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Marked by teacher Laura Gater 04/07/2013

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