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GCSE: John Betjeman

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  1. Could The Suicide be The Executive after a life of failure?

    This is the 60's because there was not a licence of housing until after this period of time. No one could just knock down buildings then. Another aspect of the poem, which makes you consider it is in the 60's, is that Betjeman has written in his poem 'I have a Slimline briefcase', which were only used around that time because they are like the equivalent of modern palmtops. Therefore, if the Executive was so rich he would have the best up to date technology to show off for work. In 'The Suicide' it indicates that it is set in the 60's because McNeice writes in his poem 'Through which he had wandered deliciously till he stumbled', which is a 60's song.

    • Word count: 1350
  2. Compare Perch, The Field-Mouse, The Eagle, and A Difficult Birth.

    "A difficult Birth" shows Clarke's two greatest concerns - a love of the natural world around her and the political processes that bring war and peace to the world. "Perch" has a simple form - five couples with half rhyme similar to "the eagle" when only two lines rhyme. The metre is mostly anapaestic with some iambic feet. "A difficult birth" also has a loose iambic metre similar to the Eagle which has an iambic metre written with four feet in each line.

    • Word count: 1001
  3. Poems by John Betjeman

    Once he meets Wendy, everything seems to turn into fantasy, 'Fairies, pinewood elf and larch tree gnome', which shows his childlike mind. However, the whole poem changes its feel after you read the last phrase, 'slumber-wear'. This gives the poem a very strange quality, knowing that the boy is still very young and already up to no good. The uncle also adds to this effect by asking them to 'fox-trot' giving the reader the illusion that maybe the children are older.

    • Word count: 1188
  4. We have been giving to 20th century poems to examine. They are "Evans" by R.S Thomas and "Death in Leamington" by Sir John Betjeman. Both poems are about death, but in two very different situations. I will examine the poem Evans first of all.

    Everything that Evans owns has a dull, dreary adjective attached to it, like stark farm and black kettle. His kitchen must be filthy because crickets can be heard. The last line of this verse tells us that he lives on a lone farm upon a hill. From this verse we have found out that this man is poor, lonely and doesn't really care much about what his house looks like. The 2nd verse tells us that something appals the speaker.

    • Word count: 1105
  5. Compare the Content, Style and Techniques of an "Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat" With That of "To a Mouse".

    No one arrives to save her: "No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr'd : Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heared". The dolphin is included in the list of possible rescuers because it is a reference to the classical legend of the harpist, Arion, being saved by a dolphin which had been entranced by his music, much in the same way the cat wanted to be saved by someone who heard its meowing. In Burns's poem the mouse unlike the cat does not actually die, but it is made clear that the prospects for the mouse are bleak due to its home

    • Word count: 1190
  6. With close reference to two poems you've studied, show how specific places provide Betjeman with poetical inspiration.

    In this case the bombs are friendly because according to Betjeman Slough deserves to be bombed because it is so awful. The verse has a jaunty rhythm. Slough is not worth saving. One can clearly see his hatred for Slough in the first verse. He wants the bombs to blow up Slough so there is nothing left mostly because of all the canteens, which serve tinned foods. In the next verse, Betjeman is saying that we are becoming artificial because we are eating artificial food; there is no more fresh food to be eaten.

    • Word count: 1066
  7. Compare and contrast 'Slough' and 'Belfast Confetti' - Comment on the poetic devices used and their effects.

    The poet doesn't actually mention whether he thinks the bombing is right or wrong, which is refreshing in a time when everyone has an opinion about the freedom of Ireland from England. However, the title is confusing, making the reader think that this is going to be about celebrations, but it in fact, turns out to be about a bomb. The first stanza describes the riot as Carson remembers the events, and the sheer violence comes tumbling out. As soon as the poem begins, the reader is hit in an urgent, dynamic fashion.

    • Word count: 1369
  8. "Betjeman has... very brilliantly made us think about being alive, being dead... while infact talking about a tea tray." What is your response to this view? In your answer you should examine in detail 'Death in Leamington' and one other appropriate poem.

    The verse runs on throughout until it comes to the end of the stanza. Betjeman did this as it was the beginning of the poem and wanted us to realise and feel what and whom the poem is all about Secondly we are illustrated with use of personification, as her 'lonely crochet' will not be able to grow anymore. The crochet beside her bed also shows us that she liked to make things in her spare time and that she was still fit and well. 'But the fingers that would have work'd it were dead as the spoken word.'

    • Word count: 1565
  9. How does Betjeman convey his attitude towards Slough?

    He is very flippant about asking the bombs to blow Slough 'to smithereens' as if he wants no part of it left and it's a reasonable demand. Betjeman's phrases such as 'It's not their fault that they are mad', 'they do not know' and 'they often go' makes it sound like he feels the people of Slough are alienated and are very different to himself, as if they were another species altogether, calling them 'they', disassociating them from himself, and being patronising about their lives.

    • Word count: 1193
  10. Compare and Contrast the Ways in Which the Two Poets Present Their Memories

    These feelings were apparent at the start of the poem as Larkin travels "by a different line for once". The use of "for once" was not a necessary phrase in his description of the journey but insinuates that his childhood was monotonous and dull. There is another phrase, "come to that" that is also unnecessary to the meaning of the poem or sentence it is in. This gives the impression that it is said angrily as an aside. Larkin uses negatives to emphasise what he "did not" do and the experiences in life that he was "never" a part of.

    • Word count: 1393
  11. Compare and Contrast the Poetry of James Berry and John Betjeman, with particular reference to the Cultural Differences. Refer to at Least two Poems by each Poet

    Lucy is used to the unspoilt beauty of the Jamaican scenery so London comes as a big change. She describes it to Leela as: "A parish Of a pasture-lan what Grown crisscross streets." In Jamaica Lucy could leave her door unlocked but write of how she can't do that in London: "I carry keys everywhere Life here's no open summer." She sees the lifestyle as monotonous because every day seems the same. She feels in some ways that she doesn't really belong in London. In the poem 'From Lucy: Englan' Lady' she describes the Queen as being, "Like she a space touris'," because she is somewhat alienated from the rest of the population.

    • Word count: 1471

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