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

Compare and Contrast Two Poets Opinions On Infant Mortality.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

COMPARE AND CONTRAST TWO POETS OPINIONS ON INFANT MORTALITY The two poems are 'We are Seven' by William Wordsworth and 'On My First Sonne' by Ben Jonson. Prior to 1900 infant mortality featured in most peoples lives but although it was expected it still created personal catastrophe which could be devastating. Although both 'We are Seven' and 'On My First Sonne' are both taking about the subject of infant mortality, they portray it in a very different way. Wordsworth's poem is about a young girl who does not recognize death as a separation or loss which the narrator feels he is trying to explain to her but in fact the girl teaches him a lot more than he teaches her. Jonson's poem is about the father-son relationship, an exploration of a father's feelings on the loss of his son. In Jonson's poem we get an insight into how Jonson is feeling over the loss of his son. Jonson's poem has a complex structure and we can see from this that perhaps he wanted to focus his mind on a poem to try and ease the pain of his loss. The poem can also suggest to us that at this point Jonson's feelings are also very complex as he uses different arguments in his poem to try and convince himself that his son is now at and advantage. ...read more.

Middle

In this stanza we see that the narrator is very rational and when he asks,"What should it know of death?" He expects his answer to be the same as his thoughts but we get the feeling that he is going to be challenged over his views. As we go through the poem we see a simple girl who explains to the narrator that among the seven children of her family she includes the two that "in the churchyard lie." The narrator tries to persuade her that if they are dead then surely there are only five of them. "You run about, my little maid, Your limbs they are alive; If two are in the churchyard laid, Then ye are only five." Here the narrator tries to put his point of view forward saying that they are dead not alive. The narrator comes across as very demanding and brutal, insisting that his ideas must be accepted by the young girl. This is what Wordsworth hopes to achieve as Wordsworth thought that children still had the spirit and imagination that is lost through education. But in response to the narrator the young girl says why there are seven. The description of the two children being "side by side" and "twelve steps or more from my mother's door" creates the image of the children still being together as a family even though they are dead. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jonson's poem takes a very different approach to infant mortality when compared to Wordsworth's. In Wordsworth's the children's lives are kept going and savoured but in Jonson's although the memory of his son is treasured it causes a lot of pain due to the 'sin' he has committed of loving his son too much. These differences could be seen as the differences between an adult's view and a child's view; this was Wordsworth's aim in his poem. Both poems have a different feel to them. In Jonson's we see a very sad, sincere and sombre mood but in Wordsworth's poem we get an almost happy mood, as we see that the children's lives are celebrated not just mourned over. It is not only the content that makes Wordsworth's poem have a happy mood but it is the way he has made the poem very simple without complicated language. The two poems are both exploring the subject of infant mortality but for different purposes. Wordsworth's poem is to try and inform people, not only about infant mortality but of everyday judgements that are made. Jonson's poem is one that was probably written for himself, as a way of coping with grieve he was faced with. Although the poets have very different opinions we can see in both how infant mortality was a major fact in live before 1900. We can also see how it affected the people who were involved. This was in very different ways, as people react to different situations differently. Sarah Belsey - 1 - ...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 William Wordsworth 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 William Wordsworth essays

  1. In William Wordsworth's "We Are Seven," perception plays an important role in the relationship ...

    / Quick was the little Maid's reply, "O Master! we are seven." / "But they are dead; those two are dead! / Their spirits are in heaven!" / 'Twas throwing words away; for still / The little Maid would have her will, / And said, "Nay, we are seven!"

  2. How does Wordsworth convey a London of light, life and liberty in the poem ...

    Wordsworth's reference to "his first splendour" is that of the sun personified; and perhaps he is comparing his sight of London on this morning with the sun's first rays bathing the natural landscape on the very first morning of creation.

  1. Differences and Similarities Between Coleridge and Wordsworth Concerning People's Relationship to Nature

    Coleridge underlines the violent and powerful aspect of nature. The fountain do not flow quietly, but "flings up" (l.24) and "sinks in tumult in a lifeless ocean"(l.28). Throughout the description in "Kubla Khan" and in "The Ancient Mariner", we see that Coleridge shows the struggle against the overwhelming forces of nature.

  2. Demonstrate the persistence of Wordsworthian ideal of country folk, childhood and natural education in ...

    This celebration of rural life and the people can also be seen in Good night Mr Tom. The events that occur in Will's life in the city are overcome by the calm everyday life of the country and its folk.

  1. In your opinion, how successfully does Lyrical Ballads capture the hour of feeling?

    are less under restraint- our elementary feelings coexist in a state of greater simplicity and, consequently more accurately contemplated and more forcibly communicated; because the manners of rural life germinate from those elementary feelings; and lastly because in that condition, the passions of men are incorporated with the beautiful and

  2. Analysing closely three or four poems which we have read, say what seems to ...

    He saw me, and turned aside, As if he wished himself to hide: Then with his coat he made essay To wipe those briny tears away. I follow'd him, and said, 'My friend What ails you? Wherefore weep you so?'

  1. What similarities and differences do you find in the thoughts and feelings conveyed to ...

    We also feel drifting with the poem. One of the main points made in this stanza, is the vastness of the daffodils "a host of golden daffodils". Stanza two, "Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the Milky Way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance."

  2. In Lucy Gray and There was a boy Wordsworth examines childhood in similar ways ...

    It further establishes the idea that Lucy is still alive, by the use of the present tense in the final stanza, unlike the rest of the poem which is in the past tense. Throughout much of his poetry in the Lyrical Ballads Wordsworth is interested in the differing relationships that children have with the natural world.

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