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Compare the poems "Old Man, Old Man" and "Digging"

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Both the poems "Old Man, Old Man" and "Digging" focus on the relationships seen between parent and child. Yet both poems portray this relationship in a different way. "Old Man, Old Man" conveys the idea of a child feeling that their father is no longer able and can not do anything. "Digging", on the other hand, portrays the admiration of a child for his father's strength and skill. To begin with, we notice that the child in "Old man, Old Man" does not seem to show much love for her father, we see this when she states. "He lives in a world of small recalcitrant / things in bottles". Through "small recalcitrant" we can see that she has a very "small" view on old people. We also notice how she feels that they are "now not useful". We also notice her view that with old age one becomes helpless and are no longer in control of their surroundings. ...read more.


Again we see Fanthorpe's view that old people loose their value and become degraded in society as they grow old as they don't carry any function in society. We understand from the poem that Fanthorpe does not have a very good parent too child relationship with her father due to the frequent criticisms she makes of him. In contrast to "Old Man, Old Man, "Digging" shows a much more loving and warm view to parents. In "Digging" the main idea that is conveyed throughout the poem is the admiration for the boy's father. An example would be when, "Stooping in rhythm through potato drills". Here we understand that the boy admires his father due to his relaxed and systematic approach to his work. We understand that the boy wishes that he could be as good as his father through, "But I've no spade to follow men like him". ...read more.


We understand that Heaney was very proud of his hard working father, as shown when, "My father cut more turf in a day / Than any other man on Toner's bog." Here Heaney's immense pride in his father is shown to an even greater extent. In this poem Heaney believes that a child should be proud of their parents' life and value the hard work that they went through before their old age. In conclusion, we see that both poems give a totally different view on the relationship between a parent and child. In "Old man, Old man", Fanthorpe sees it as a problematic relationship where the child views her father as being helpless, useless and good for nothing. Whereas in "Digging" Heaney gives the impression that the relationship between parent and child should be one of admiration and love. ?? ?? ?? ?? Look again at "Old man, Old man" and one other poem from identity. How do the writers explore the relationship between parent and child? Amir Ashrafi 10H ...read more.

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