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Compare the way old age is treated in the poems 'Old man, old man' and 'Warning'.

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Introduction

Compare the ways old age is treated in the poems 'Old man, old man' and 'Warning'. 'Warning' is poem by the poet Jenny Joseph. This poem deals with adulthood and old age. The poem defies society's view of old age; this is prefigured in the title of the poem. Similarly, 'Old man, old man' is poem by U A Fanthorpe; this poem explores the changes of adulthood and the changes brought by old age. The theme of the poems is quite different, 'Old man, old man' explores the changing relationship between father and daughter in the past and present and how old age affects their relationship. Contrasting to the theme of 'Warning' which challenges society' view of old age and her rebellion against society's expectation of her to settle down and lead a quiet life. Evidently, both poems highlight the outlook of old age. 'Warning' views old age as a time to rejoice and have fun during this time we are to 'gobble up samples in shops' and 'learn to spit', conflicting with the representation of old age in 'old man, old man'. This narrator tells us that the old man was the 'connoisseur of nuts' but now has become 'obdurate in his contracted world'. ...read more.

Middle

Nevertheless, as he is stubborn and unwilling he does not allow her in. The ego of the old man is shutting out the narrator. The narrator loves the old man and his 'helplessness' and wants to help him. Willingly the narrator wants to walk the old man to 'Drury Lane' and find his 'hammer'. The narrator is attempting to help him with little things and is willing to be invisible but be there for him. The old man conspicuously hides his emotions and feelings away from his daughter. The narrator pleads to help the old man and reassures him she will only be 'a cloud'. Contrasting, the character of Jenny Joseph's poem is looking forward to becoming old she makes it eloquent that she will be asserting her rights and desires as an old woman. The woman intends on breaking the stereotypical outlook of old people; she stresses her point that she will be independent and a shocking old woman. The old woman observes old age as a time for becoming free and having no responsibility, as she says that she will, 'go out in my slippers in the rain and pick the flowers in other people's gardens'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The is also based on the difficulty of one trying to adapt to the results and outcomes of old age and being able to have shame to rely on someone to help you to re-enact your usual day. By comparing both poems personally, my outcome is that I considerably prefer "Warning" by Jenny Joseph because this poem is very humorous and does not give in to stereotypes. The poem is rebellious and does have key moments of fun and naivety as it compare society's view of a stereotypical old women to a personal opinion that some people do not enjoy being inflicted with rules of responsibility throughout life. When reading "Old man, old man" I concluded that poem was dealing more with emotions of old age than with the physical attributes of being old. For example "Warning" dealt personal opinions on how to be like when you are old, whereas "Old man, old man" deals with the struggles of being old and dependant. Old man, old man is a very heart warming poem of a man struggling to overcome old age by himself but then his daughter realises this and wants to help him overcome his struggle but only be a cloud. Halimah Chattun 08/05/2007 ...read more.

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