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How do the writers of 'Hide and Seek' and 'Half-past Two' help you to understand the events or incidents they describe?

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Introduction

How do the writers of 'Hide and Seek' and 'Half-past Two' help you to understand the events or incidents they describe? These two poems both tell the story of memorable incidents in the lives of children. 'Hide and Seek' describes the well known childhood game and 'Half-past Two' is a story about a school boy in detention who can't tell the time. 'Hide and Seek' takes the form of a series of instructions on how to play the game interspersed with pieces of descriptive language whereas 'Half-past Two' is a narrative with some description. In 'Hide and Seek' one participant in the game is telling another in the third person how to play. ...read more.

Middle

'Half-past Two' is written in the second person from the perspective of an adult looking back at the childhood experience of another child. This is shown in the second verse where the narrator refers to 'She', presumably the teacher, and the 'Something Very Wrong.' Also this is shown in the use of the phrases, which refer to time such as 'onceupona' and 'timefors'. The child's world is contrasted with that of the adult through their contrasting understanding of time. The boy, who is the subject of the poem, has a very limited understanding of the concept of time. He does not know how to tell the time using the clock so he makes up his own words to name all the times in the day which are important so him, such as; 'Gettinguptime', 'timeyouwereofftime', 'Timetogohomenowtime', 'Tvtime' and 'Timeformykisstime (Grantime)'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The two poems express very different emotions. In 'Hide and Seek' the reader infers the children's feelings as the game develops. So, for example, the child who is hiding is initially excited, then he/she experiences caution or anxiety whilst wondering whether he/she will be found and then finally triumph as he/she emerges with 'I've won! Here I am!' and disappointment at the fact that the seekers are nowhere to be found. The children who are seeking however are 'getting more puzzled as they search all over.' In 'Half-past Two' the narrator refers to the child being too scared 'of being wicked to remind her and the author also implies boredom in the verse beginning 'So he waited, beyond onceupona.' The language of 'Hide and Seek' is much more expressive and descriptive than that of 'Half-past Two'. ...read more.

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