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"In Mrs. Tilscher's Class" by Carol Ann Duffy deals with one central theme. The theme of growing up is the main idea within the poem and is repeatedly imprinted throughout the poet's childhood

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In Mrs. Tilscher's Class "In Mrs. Tilscher's Class" by Carol Ann Duffy deals with one central theme. The theme of growing up is the main idea within the poem and is repeatedly imprinted throughout the poet's childhood. This theme leads on to the more abstract idea of the child already maturing into a great poet. Her mind's eye is unbounded as she transforms her classroom into a place of riches and resides in her own world of imagination. Written improbably through the 2nd person viewpoint, the poem expresses these ideas personally to the reader, hence allowing us to empathise with the poet. The poet is able to recall several aspects of her primary school days, and is consequently able to paint a picture of her memories from the viewpoint of a young child. The writer not only conveys an inviting warm atmosphere of a 1960's classroom, but also unveils a liberal outlook to her childhood. A colourful classroom with numerous displays is made known to the reader: "The classroom glowed like a sweet shop." The classroom is made into a place of riches with this visual simile, used to radiate wonders of the child's mind. The word "glowed" in this line is a metaphor all on its own. The metaphor allows the reader to visualise the sweetshop gleaming due to the light refracting through the glass jars and translucent sweets. ...read more.


The reader of the poem is invited to personally explore the main ideas within the poem. This personal involvement of the reader seems appropriate, as the main theme conveyed, the journey of growing up, is your own personal exclusive journey. This personal involvement is due to the narration of the poem from the second-person viewpoint. This is shown through the excessive use of the second-person pronoun "You." By using this narration style, the experience of the young poet is made universal and common. We can all be subjected to her experiences of growing up from the second-person narrative perspective. Although the reader finds it easy enough to face the poet's experiences, Mrs. Tilscher feels that she should have no influence in the young child's journey of growing up, and that such a journey should proceed at the person's own pace. When the child asks the teacher about how she was born, "Mrs. Tilscher smiled, then turned away." Mrs. Tilscher may have believed that the poet would learn in her own time, but the poet nevertheless encourages the reader to enter her journey. The poem illustrates two worlds in which the poet resided during her childhood days. The reader is able to capture not only the essence of the classroom, but also the limitless realm of the child's imagination. ...read more.


The lightning of a thunderstorm also links to the connotations of the "electricity." The lightning of the thunderstorm could symbolize the mood swings awaiting the child. The lightning also illustrates the fact that there is an unsettlement within the child, as if an electric current was continually running through her. The rain of a thunderstorm conveys the downpour of gloom upon the child throughout the hard times to come. On an overall view the experience of puberty and growing up is just a phase and in time will pass. Soon the child will be entirely in adulthood. Likewise the thunderstorm is just an unpleasant phase in the sequence of weather and in time shall pass. Before long the sun will overpower such a ghastly occurrence of weather. Overall, "In Mrs. Tilscher's Class" by Carol Ann Duffy is a poem which allows the reader to personally identify themselves with the poet. The poem is contrastive between the stanzas and thus the poet is able to isolate the main idea. Two worlds are created expressing the wonders of the classroom, but also illustrating the unconstrained world of the girl's imagination. Through these two worlds we see signs of the girl growing into a great poet. However the most essential idea of the poem is the theme of growing up and maturing. It is a journey through adolescence: "You ran through the gates, impatient to be grown." Word Count: 1879 ?? ?? ?? ?? Arkesh Patel 4C1 ...read more.

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