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Compare and contrast the way the childhood is presented in "Piano" by D.H. Lawrence, "My parents kept me from children who were rough" by Stephen Spender and "Half-past two" by U. A. Fanthorpe

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the way the childhood is presented in "Piano" by D.H. Lawrence, "My parents kept me from children who were rough" by Stephen Spender and "Half-past two" by U. A. Fanthorpe In all three poems the poets present childhood in different and exceptional way. In "Piano", childhood is presented in a very idealistic way. The poet is remembering the good old times when he was sitting under the piano and listening to his mother tenderly singing a powerful song. He remembers his loving mother, and all the factors surrounding her, only having a positive atmosphere. When on the other hand Stephen Spender is describing himself being teased and abused by his own peer mates in his youth. We can sense the fright and dread in the poem. Whereas towards the end, the poet forgives the awful children, and she even tries to make friends. The poem "Half-past two" is about a child, who gets a detention until 2.30pm, but doesn't know time. He fears that it will never end and feels lost. In the end the situation leads him to a shocking and unforgettable experience. Though all the poems present childhood in different ways, innocence is the main point in all of them. In "Half-past two" it is presented through language. The words are easy and sometimes made-up from a child's point of view of how life is. ...read more.

Middle

There are also onomatopoeic words, like 'click' and 'tick-less' to highlight the fact that the poem is from the child's viewpoint, because little children aren't familiar with the correct words. While Lawrence is using rather difficult and complicated words, to emphasize the fact that the poem is actually written from adult's prospective to his childhood as a memory. 'In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song Betrays me back, till the heart if me weeps to belong' The word 'insidious' is a relatively intricate word that a 10-year-old child wouldn't understand, so it indicates that this poem is written from a grownup's point of view. The two lines are overall very poetical, so the readers could sense the maturity of the poem. Spender is likewise using the same technique; he is very lyrical via comparisons, similarities and descriptions to create an expression of fear in the character. 'I feared more than tigers their muscles like iron And their jerking hands and their knees tight on my arms.' The first line is a comparison to animals that children are scared of most - the tigers. This also describes the way the bullies acted - wild and vigorously. But at the same time, the second part of the line 'muscles like iron' is a similarity that refers to a more grownup way of thinking. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whereas on the other hand Spender creates the feeling of trepidation and sympathy for him, because of the abuse of his peer mates. 'I feared the salt coarse pointing of these boys.' The metaphor is used to create the atmosphere of fear. It expresses the pain that the poet goes through: when you put salt on your wound, it hurts terribly. Spender is comparing this pain to the action of boys. While towards the closing stage of the poem, the atmosphere changes into forgiveness of the poet. 'I longed to forgive them, yet they never smiled' Spender tries to make friends and exonerate the bullies, but they never wanted to be friends with him. It creates sympathy for the poet, because no matter how hard he tries, he isn't even given a chance to be a friend with those boys. It is especially important for young children to play and learn the marvels of life. But he didn't have anybody. In all of the poems the atmosphere is changing towards the ending, though in each poem in a different direction. In conclusion all three poets present childhood in very different ways, however the central theme is innocence, though each poet expresses it in his own unique way. In 'Half-past two' this main key point is presented though fear and dread. Whereas Lawrence has put it across through sweet memory of a beloved mother. While "My parents kept me from children who were rough" expressed innocence through lack of maturity and knowledge to handle a complicated situation. ...read more.

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