• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

English Literature Coursework - Nostalgia

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast three poems from the English Literature Anthology where the speakers of the poems display strong nostalgic thoughts through theme, structure, language, mood and tone of the poems. Three poems where the speakers show strong nostalgic thoughts for the past are Piano by D.H. Lawrence, Poem at Thirty-Nine by Alice Walker and Crabbit Old Woman by Phyllis McCormack. They all display the common theme of wanting to return to the past, away from the pain, loneliness and the trials and tribulations of adulthood. In this essay, I will analyse how the poets convey their feelings through their use of literary structure, theme, language, mood and tone. The theme of nostalgia is expressed through each of the three speakers' different experiences. In Piano, the speaker is taken "back down the vista of years" and re-calls happier memories from his childhood. This happens when he hears a piano being played which is the trigger so that his "manhood is cast/Down in the flood of remembrance". This indicates that the poet yearns for the past and he feels less of a man when he reminisces. ...read more.


The structures of the poems have been similarly utilised to suit the speakers' stream of consciousness. Extensive use of language and forms of imagery is applied in the three poems. Sensory details like "Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me" are effectively utilised in the first stanza of the poem, Piano. In Poem at Thirty-Nine, the use of alliteration with the 't' sound in "he taught me that telling the truth" makes a 'tutting' sound which fits in well with the context about the lessons learnt by the speaker. "He cooked like a person dancing in a yoga meditation" is a simile that reflects the joy and passion he felt while cooking. The 'd' sound alliteration in "Dark days are upon me" in the poem Crabbit Old Woman emphasises the darkness and impending doom that is soon to befall the old woman. The speaker uses an imperative command, "I'll tell you who I am" to force the nurses to acknowledge her real personality. The fact that the old woman can recall past events in her life in chronological order shows her good memory. ...read more.


This makes the memory seem sadder because she is portrayed as an unfortunate victim. The poet's true objective in writing the poem is to inform us that we should see beyond the old, frail bodies of an elderly person and see the person inside them. The mood and tone of the three poems greatly affects the way in which the memories of the speakers are portrayed to the reader so therefore, this was used successfully by the three poets. I believe that these three poems are linked by the speakers' thoughts of reminiscence about the past because of issues in their life like the desire to return to their childhood, death, loneliness and the resistance to stereo-types. The intense nostalgia which runs like a thread connecting all three poems evokes a sense of pathos. I find that the poem, Piano represents strong nostalgic thoughts effectively and is coincidentally my favourite poem because of the positive feeling that it conveys through use of many literary devices, use of language and imagery. The pleasing effect that it had on me can be referred to the warm and comfortable scene that is established by the poet. ?? ?? ?? ?? Candidate Name: Harris Rasheed Candidate Number: 79 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

5 star(s)

Five stars

This essay is a thorough analysis of the theme, structure, language and tone of the three poems selected. It analyses the effect of the writers' choices and the consequent effect on the reader. A personal response to the texts is included. Points are well-supported with evidence from the text.

Marked by teacher Elaine Prentice 14/10/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Critical Analysis of The Forge by Seamus Heaney

    5 star(s)

    In the following line, the anvil is said to be an altar. This seems to imply that the blacksmith's activity must correspondingly be a form of worship. These metaphors, and the description of the blacksmith as expend[ing] himself in shape and music (line 9)

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Of Mice and Men Essay

    4 star(s)

    However, the main conflict of this novel is man versus man, which basically goes on throughout the entire novel, while George watches after Lennie; The majority of George's time is devoted to looking after Lennie, whose faults prevent George from working toward his dream, or even living the life of a typical rancher.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Farmhand by James Baxter. The poem is about a farmhand who is portrayed ...

    3 star(s)

    He has his hopes and dreams but he feels because of his "hairy hands" and "sunburnt face" he may only be able to weave or yarn dreams but they may never become a reality. Here again the reader is moved, as life has been so harsh to the farmhand because

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Romantic Poetry Analysis. John Keats On First Looking into Chapmans Homer reflects the ...

    3 star(s)

    The poem gives a sense of adventure and exploration through the use of the Homer's legend "The Odyssey", the freedom to discover such a wonderful work and translation through the use of Cortez accounts, transporting the poet into a world of imagination and subjective perspectives.

  1. Wedding in the Flood

    trunk and looking glass, though her submerged but more major concern is "What sort of a man is my husband?"

  2. Comparing two poems 'Island Man' and 'Blessing'

    Similar techniques have been used amongst the stanzas in 'Blessing'. Imtiaz Dharker has used no rhyme scheme in the poem, which is likened to the people running everywhere to get the water, and symbolises chaos. There is no rhyme scheme, creating confusion during the poem, especially in the main descriptive stanza.

  1. A comparison of the poetry of George Herbert and John Donne

    The first line also features a strong use of sibilance, that adds emphasis and force behind the poem and it is also the first line of the poem which provides an opinion of the poem almost immediately. The stanzas are split into 2 moods, of a happy side and a depressing, morose side.

  2. Peter Skrzynecki explores various aspects of belonging and not belonging in his poems ancestors, ...

    Peter also feels as though he does not belong within his culture, this idea is explored in "Feliks", "10 Mary Street" and "Ancestors". The use of alliteration in the first stanza of "ancestors" in the line "standing shoulder to shoulder" creates the feeling of belonging between the enigmatic and ancient

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work