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A Comparison of two Fanthorpe Poems

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A Comparison of two Fanthorpe Poems 'Old Man' and 'Half Past Two' are about two poems on each end of the age spectrum. 'Old Man' is about a man's brief life story. It tells us about a man in his earlier years that had power and authority but now he is old and helpless. 'Half Past Two' is about a young child who has been forgotten about in a classroom. It shows us a child's concept of time, which is very different from an adult. The main contrast between the two poems is that 'Half Past Two' describes only a part of a day of the boy's life whereas in 'Old Man' it tells his life story. However the poem are of the same length. This shows the importance of this boy's new experience. I think the poem is long because the boy has not experienced being left alone before. This is because the child talks about, "gettinguptime, timeyouwereofftime, timetogohomenowtime, tvtime." These phrases lead you to think that the boy has a scheduled life where he is not left alone. As a young boy he has a settled and secure life where he desperately depends on his parents. This helplessness in life and schedule is shown in the poem 'Old Man'. The old man used to have a schedule because the narrator says, "your timetabled cigarette." ...read more.


This also shows that his contracted world is also to do with his personal life around the household. This is a great contrast from before when he was described as, "lifelong adjuster of environment." Now the old man is described as, "Now you ramble in your talk...and living in almost dark." This almost gives the impression of silence. This is because darkness conveys the impression of night and night conveys the impression of silence. So the old man's life is silent because there is no one in his life to care for him since he does not want help from anyone considering that he will loss his sense of power. In 'Half Past Two' the child has so much time that he can spare it on the other hand the old man is running out of time in life because to is getting older. I think both of them don't know what to do with time. For example when the boy is in the classroom in silence he does not know what to do so he just sits there and waits for somebody to come to him. The old man does not know what to do with the time he has left because I get the impression that he sits most of the day in his contracted world. Fanthorpe adds little similarities in each poem. ...read more.


The words environment, shed, garage, and garden are all things outside. The words glue, nuts and bolts, and Black and Decker all evoke the picture that they are in a shed with is outside and separate from the house. This shows that he is isolated from his family whereas the young boy in 'Half Past Two' is definitely not isolated from his family because he was so new to silence that he did not know what to do with his spare time. The formations of both the poems are the same. They both have eleven stanzas with three lines each except for the last stanza in 'Old Man' where it has only two lines. This emphasises the last verse. I think the main point about the poems is that the old man becomes a child just like the child in 'Half Past Two'. He needs help even if he does not want it and he becomes vulnerable. He had authority and power before but now he has lost it all with age he has no power over people like a child has no power over people. He is not in control of his own life now because he needs help from his daughter just like a child. At the end of the poem the daughter says, "Let me walk with you." This shows she is supervising him as much as she can and can not leave him alone just like a child has to be watched all day. ...read more.

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