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Compare the way old age is treated in the poems "Old man, old man" and "Warning".

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Introduction

Compare the way old age is treated in the poems "Old man, old man" and "Warning" In this essay I will discuss how 'old man, old man' and 'warning' address the theme of growing old. 'Old man, old man' tells the story of an old man's life through flashbacks. It is about the changing relationship between parent and child. Whereas warning looks at adulthood and old age, it discusses all the things the speaker will do when she is old and all the things she does as an adult that she doesn't like doing. 'Old man, old man' is about a man getting older and what old age has done to him. There are two speakers in this poem, the daughter and the father. The poem is written in past and present tense: " He was always a man who did it himself", the past tense in the poem tells us of a time when the man was young and how he had no problems doing the tasks he does. The present tense tells us the difficulties he's having or how he's older "when he saw better". ...read more.

Middle

In 'Warning' old age is presented as a time of having fun and doing all the things she missed when she was younger, "spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves". In 'warning' old age is treated as a positive time I life in comparison to 'old man, old man' where it is treated negatively. The beginning lines start with 'and', this adds to the pace and excitement of the poem, it also has different lengths of sentences and the language reflects the use of non-standard English "learn to spit". The childish language reflects the fact that the poet sees old age as a chance to be a child again, irresponsible and free. There are four stanzas and each deal with a new topic whereas 'Old man, old man' carries on the same topic in some stanzas "missing crusted steaks...of food on plates". The verbs "shall" and "can wear" show the future and what the speaker wishes to do in old age. The third stanza relates to the woman's adulthood, now she must conform and behave in a responsible manner. ...read more.

Conclusion

However in 'old man, old man' the poet is exploring the stereotypical view of old age, that it is a time of settling down and when a person is forgetful "I've lost the hammer" and deteriorates slowly. Whereas in 'Warning' the speaker is challenging society's view of old age and is rebelling against society's expectations. She voices her inner feelings and argues that society's expectations have stripped her of her individuality and opportunity to express herself and she sees old age as the chance to do so. I enjoyed reading 'warning' the most as it was an different view of age and the speaker makes it sound as if old age is a time of happiness as well, it made me think more deeply about older age and it didn't make it seem so boring as I had previously thought. Both poems give me different views of old age. 'Old man, old man' gives me a view of a time of slowing down and being distanced from the things you used to do and warning gives me the impression that old age does not have to be boring and that you are as young as you feel. Kamlesh Vadukul 11 set 3 English ...read more.

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