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“Half Past Two” and “Hide and Seek”.

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Introduction

U A Fanthorpe and Vernon Scannel recreate a child hood experience in their poems "Half Past Two" and "Hide and Seek". In "Half Past Two" there is a boy who has been put in detention for something seemingly not very bad. The boy is young and he has not yet been taught how to tell the time by his teacher yet. This means that in his detention he is unable to tell when it is time for him to leave, and he slips into his own clockless world. In "Hide and Seek" a boy is playing hide and seek with who he thought were his friends, when he is hiding his friends all run off, leaving him on his own. In both poems the children experience lonliness but each in different ways. The form of the poems are very diferent. This is because the poets are trying to have different effects on you as the reader. In "Hide and Seek" there is one very long, 27 line stanza. This represents one very long moment in the childs life. From when he begins hiding to when he reveals him self to his freinds only to find he is all alone. This contrasts to "Half Past Two" where the poem has a very regular form, having eleven, very regular, three line stanzas. ...read more.

Middle

We know that he is confident and excited as he says; Call out. Call loud: 'I'm ready! Come and find me!' This is a very confident statement made by the boy. He is obviously having a good time playing with his friends and having lots of fun. The short, loud, confident statements reinforce this expectation of fun and excitement. The boy is thinking about the game in a serious way but not letting the main idea slip out of his mind, to have fun. He realises that he must not shout again as he may give his hiding place away, he also says about making sure your feet arent sticking out and not to sneeze whe ntey come in. In "Half Past Two" the boy seems to be of a very young age and have a very limited understanding of the concept of time. He does not know how to tell the time using the clock so he makes his own coined words to name all the times in the day which are important so him, such as; Gettinguptime, timeyouwereofftime, Timetogohomenowtime, TVtime. His limited knowledge of time is reflected thorough his word choice, instead of using the clock times to describe the events in the day, he invents his own words as he does not know how to tell the time yet. ...read more.

Conclusion

We can tell this because the sacks no longer smell like the seaside but now the damp smell of sand moves through your throat, and the floor is no longer cold but the cold is biting through your coat. Both these changes add to the harshness of the situation that the boy has been put in. This poem is about the harsh realities which all children have to go through at some point in their lives, in childhood, everything is about having fun and playing with friends. This event in the boys life adumbrates the changeover which will happen to him when he reaches adult life and things no nonger are about playing games in the park. To me "Half Past Two" seems to be about the freedom and wild imagination that children have which is gradually lost as we move towards the adult world. The poem suggests that the world of adults is ruled by time, and for most people it is, but children are able to ecape the clocks and slip into their own timeless land. Which is something U A Fanthorpe is suggesting to be a thing to be admired which I strongly agree wih. Chris Sullivan - 1 - Write about the presentation of childhood experiences in "Hide and Seek" and "Half Past Two", commenting on the effects of the poets use of language and form. ...read more.

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