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Discuss Harrison's exploration of family relationships

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Discuss Harrison's Explorations of Family relationships A lot of Tony Harrison's poems have a connection with family life and particularly in some of his poems he talks about his family in an under covered way. There are a few poems in particular that touch upon the subject of family relationships and especially Harrison's view on family. The poems are "Book Ends" I and II, "A Good Read" and "Bringing up". In all the poems the writer is expressing how he felt about his family, his relationship with his father and mother and how his mother has affected the family when she was alive and after she has died. The poems "Book Ends" I and II both are about how the relationship between Harrison and his father changed after his mother died. From the title of the poems the reader can gather the metaphor of the father and the son being the book ends "You are like book ends, the pair of you." Although from the poem we find out that the two of them are quite different, they are also quite similar because the book ends also come in a pair. The metaphor can be developed by saying that the pages of the book are the mother because that is the only thing that holds the book ends together. ...read more.


Form here the reader finds out that there has been to much written on the gravestone and there isn't even enough space to write her name. Harrison ahs a lot to write to his on his mother's gravestone, but the father doesn't seem to care too much "Come on it's not as if we're wanting verse. It's not as if we are wanting a whole sonnet!". Here the father is also mocking the son's education, by saying that he doesn't know to actually write. The next line of the poem shows the reader that they are still depressed because of the mother's death "After tumblers of neat Johnny Walker". This also shows that they still can't cope without the mother. The father's appalling education results as a barrier between them as Harrison is this time mocking his father "you said you'd always been a clumsy talker and couldn't find another, shorter word for "beloved" or for "wife"". Although his father is not as intelligent as Harrison is he Is still able to be cutting his son when the writer is looking for words to put on his mother's gravestone "not too clumsy that you can't still cut". Again in the next two lines where the father is speaking, he is mocking his son's education by saying that it ...read more.


At the end of the part in italics Harrison shows a similarity with his father by swearing "fucking football". This shows that even though there is a lot of tension In their relationship they are still a father and son. Also Harrison can't actually say all those things to his father "(All this in my mind.)" The father of Harrison actually becomes the "good read" as he becomes the subject of some of his poems which is quite ironic and writing becomes the only thing that makes his father interesting to Harrison. The last poem that I will discuss is called "Bringing up" and it tells Harrison's readers and audience about his relationship with his mother, but more precisely what his mother used to think of his writing and how did she accept it. As it can be gathered form the title it is the time when his mother was still alive and when Harrison was younger and at the beginning of his poetic years. The poem starts of with his mother being "in disgust" with what Harrison has produced and the fact that she has borrowed "a library copy" shows even more that his mother didn't approve of her son's writing at all. Alliteration is used for emphasis on that how much she dislikes his poetry "wept for weeks". ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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