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Discussing the main theme and features of the poem 'Old Man, Old Man' written by U.A. Fanthorpe.

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Introduction

Old Man, Old Man I am going to be discussing the main theme and features of the poem 'Old Man, Old Man' written by U.A. Fanthorpe. The main theme of this poem is the relationship between and elderly man and his daughter. The relationship is exploited through memories that are brought up throughout the poem. The Old Man used to be a person who "did-it-himself" and didn't like to accept help from other people. However the father has become unable to deal with what life throws at him by himself and resents help from his daughter, who seems to be quite glad of his weaker state. I believe this to be because she had always wanted to help her father but he would refuse it and now she can make a difference and help him. The old man has a stereotypical view of women. This is shown during the poem as he doesn't accept help from a woman although it is clear he needs it, he seems to think that a man, or in this case a son is far more able to do things than a daughter, he thinks his daughter is incompetent. ...read more.

Middle

This helps us understand how U.A. Fanthorpe must have felt. She says to her father "I can see you" and he replied "only as a cloud." The poem portrays a negative image of the old man, he is a man who "frets" and "rambles" but later on in the poem he has no "power to arouse" and he rambles in his talk. This tells us that old age can be emotionally haunting or that you become an anxious figure just like the old man in this poem. It can also be a distraction from what is important such as your children, "And you wouldn't know" tells us that he has been so distracted from things other than his daughter that he would know longer know much about her. In stanza 3 and 4 there is a more praising tone towards the old man showing his achievements in coping with life, "connoisseur of nuts and bolts" before it shows a more dissatisfied tone from stanzas 5 to 8. As the old man gets older he displays more of his emotions. ...read more.

Conclusion

We see this through Fanthorpe comparing the past and the present times. However she loves his helplessness, whether it is through revenge of mistreating her or more likely because she wants to be able to help him it is uncertain. We see how strong U A Fanthorpe is as a person as she is still willing to help her father after he has ignored her or shut her out. The poem combines a mixture of loneliness, love and bitterness, the last couple of verses expresses a complex emotion of love but it is then ended bitterly and in sorrow by saying "only as a cloud". The poet uses good descriptive imagery to make us feel old after reading it, she also uses good use of quotations to drill the images in our head like the use of "medicine" and "I see you only as a cloud" shows us he is old and doesn't have as good eye sight as he did in his youth. The poem creates a sorrowful and bitter atmosphere too. Andrew Pitt 11Ma English ...read more.

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