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In both 'The Boy Without a Name' by Allan Ahlberg and 'Back in the Playground Blues' by Adrian Mitchell, a negative outlook on school is shown.

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Introduction

Poetry Coursework From the poems that I have studied I feel that the feelings conveyed by the poets show a mixed view of school days. In both 'The Boy Without a Name' by Allan Ahlberg and 'Back in the Playground Blues' by Adrian Mitchell, a negative outlook on school is shown but in the poem 'In Mrs Tilcher's Class' by Carol Ann Duffy, a much more positive vibe is being sent out about school. In the poem 'A Boy Without a Name', the speaker is the bully. The bully is looking back at his school experiences and he remembers a boy who everyone ignored because he had a skin condition. As he reflects on this he realises that he cannot remember the boy's name. The title clearly confirms this statement. The fact that the speaker can remember the names of other children and not the name of his victim shows the inhumanity of the bully when he was younger and how he treated the boy as if he were inferior to himself. The structure of the poem is consistent throughout. The rhythm of the poem is steady; this is possibly to show the consistency of the bullying that the boy received. ...read more.

Middle

The rhythm in the third stanza is said as a singsong or taunt at the victim. It is reinforcing the reasons why the person gets bullied on to them. "Get it for being chicken Get it for fighting back..." are good examples of what may have been said by the bullies. This shows how the victims were taunted. The final stanza of the poem is a conclusion of the rest of the poem. We can see this in the line, "It prepares them for a lifetime." The last stanza is also said like a rhyme to get at the victim. It is said deeply to add a chill to the poem. The rhythm is a key factor in this poem as it sets the mood and tone. In the third stanza, which is almost like a taunt, we get a sense of how the bullies victimised the boy. The language that Mitchell has used shows great emphasis on the fear experienced by the speaker. The language used shows a great sense of fear, vulnerability and unexpectancy. Words such as 'black' and 'broken' create a sense of darkness and violence. The fact that the playground id described as "three miles long and... ...read more.

Conclusion

The uses of childhood images are very effective. The phrase "she'd left a good gold star by your name," almost brings you back to your own childhood when you had similar experiences. Duffy's use of these images makes it easier for the reader to relate to the experiences of the speaker. The huge jump from childhood straight to adulthood is put in to show how quickly children grow up. One day they are in school getting gold stars and the next day they are at the stage where they hate school and they feel that they are too mature to go to school and they become more independent and rebellious. This poem sends this message out to all who read it. The poem has a steady rhythm, which again is used to create a sense of stability and regimentation, which is a key part of school especially primary school. After studying these three poems, I feel that the statement, 'school days are the best days of our lives' could easily be argued both ways but I feel in the case of the three poems the bad experiences override the good experiences of school days and so on the basis of the three poems that I have studied I feel that this statement could be well argued and firmly backed up by evidence from the poems. ...read more.

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