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Compare & Contrast the Visions of Old Age in ‘Warning’ & ‘Old Man, Old Man’.

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Introduction

Compare & Contrast the Visions of Old Age in 'Warning' & 'Old Man, Old Man'. Warning, by Jenny Joseph and Old Man, Old Man by U.A. Fanthorpe both present a vision of old age, however they are both different in expressing their view about it. Warning is a very rebellious poem, telling people about the dangers of old age. Old Man Old Man describes the relationship between a woman and her old father and how their relationship changes as he grows older. Jenny Joseph uses her poem to play with the ambiguous nature of our expectations of old age. She views old age as a time of less freedom and eccentricity, the word 'must' indicates this as she is showing that she must do these things that keep her away from having a free life, "We must...pay our rent and not swear in the street". She believes old age is a time of seriousness and sobriety, and conservationism. ...read more.

Middle

I think this poem is very effective as it uses everyday happenings to tell about our future loss of freedom and recklessness. 'Old Man, Old Man" is a very different poem compared to "Warning". The poem is structured on oppositions. UA Fanthorpe uses words of control and weariness to show that the man is feeble and weak, "shamble". However, he also shows the old man used to have control and authority but now is incompetent. "Lord once of the shed", the use of the word 'once' shows that he was a leader in the past, but now in his old age isn't. He used to have some pride. Other oppositions used are memories of the past and of the present, the use poetic and colloquial language and references to the man in the first and third person. There is the description of feelings and physical objects. "A dab with the Black & Decker...have you forgotten the jokes you no longer tell". The old man has changed a lot after becoming older as the daughter explains. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the fourth stanza of a woman to her lover, the poet makes a change of subject and starts to talk about the opposite of the other stanzas: 'I shall be your comrade, friend, and mate, to live and work, to love and die with you.' The increase in caesura suggests that she is becoming more calm and makes it sound more considerate. In remember by Christina rossetti throughout the There is a turning point towards the end of the poem which changes the so far negative attitude to a positive one. The tone of voice here is saddened and compassionate. There is an offer of support and prefers to be like this as soft and weak, so they have to spend more time together. Both of the poems end on a positive note. "Warning" says that everything is going to happen so you better start practising now because it is natural that this is going to happen. At the end of "Old Man, Old Man" there is the offer of help and support. ...read more.

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