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Compare the ways 'Old Man, Old Man' and 'Warning' Deal with the theme of old age.

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Compare the ways 'Old Man, Old Man' and 'Warning' Deal with the theme of old age. The U.A. Fanthorpe poem, 'Old Man, Old Man' and J Joseph's 'Warning', deal with the theme of old age in very contrasting ways. Both deal with similar issues, yet come out with very different views. The first thing we see in both poems is the immediate tone portrayed. 'Old Man, Old Man', starts talking of someone who "lives in a world of small recalcitrant / Things in bottles, with tacky labels", while 'Warning' begins with the colourful image that "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple / With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me". Purple and red tend to suggest a vivid and lurid tone, and the immediate contrast between the two sets the character in "Old Man, Old Man" as being reclusive and isolated, living in his own confined world, while in "Warning" we see the author looking forward to old age, seeing it a time for enjoyment of life. ...read more.


Further rebellion is shown as she talks of running her "stick along the public railings" and "learn to spit". Sprawling sentences such as "You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat / And eat three pounds of sausages at a go" portray her excitement, as well as anticipation. Use of words such as "I", and "shall" give a sense of force and individuality. Both poems have a similar structure, as they move from past to present in their tense. In "Old Man, Old Man", we see a move to the present as Fanthorpe writes "Now television has no power to arouse - / Your surliness; your wife could replace on the walls / Those picture of disinherited children". This not only suggests the man has rage pent up inside, but also poses the question as to why the children have been disinherited their father's love. The description continues as Fanthorpe says "Now you ramble / In your talk...fretting / At how to find your way". ...read more.


We see in the final verse Joseph's confidence wane slightly, as she says "Maybe I out to practise a little now...So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised / When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple". This provides a relatively quiet ending, almost an anticlimax, to a colourful, liberated poem, as the tone becomes more restrained and the drive of her dream starts to lose pace. Circularity is also shown as the first and last lines of the poem both talk of wearing purple. In conclusion, both poems take different views in addressing old age, and even though some elements in structure are similar, both contain inherently different views, as "Old Man, Old Man" is a melancholy remainder of the deterioration the old go through, while "Warning" shows a more bright outlook, explaining the opportunities and liberation that will follow with the coming of old age. This may be to do with the fact that in "Old Man, Old Man", Fanthorpe describes what she has previously seen, while in "Warning" Joseph is merely hypothesising what life may be like in the future. ...read more.

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