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'Cousin Kate' and 'The Choosing' - poetry comparison

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'Cousin Kate' and 'The Choosing' (Poetry Comparison) The poem 'Cousin Kate' is written by Christina Rossetti in the 19th century. 'The Choosing' was written in the 20th century by Liz Lochhead. Both poems are about two girls who are equal, and how with the interference of a man and a decision they go in different directions of life. In 'Cousin Kate' betrayal is the theme, whereas, in 'The Choosing' there is more a sense of envy between the characters. Both poems are similar. They consist of men, marriage, love and women. 'Cousin Kate' is a traditional narrative poem. It has been written in first person, narrated by 'I' using the personal pronoun. 'I' is the victim. The poem is set out in quatrains so it has a regular structure. Each stanza has four lines and the poem also rhymes. 'The Choosing' has an irregular structure and it doesn't rhyme on every stanza. Rhythm is only used to emphasise the important parts of the poem. The structure of both poems can tell us when the poem was written. Both poems also differ from each other. One difference would be the title. The title 'The Choosing' tells us that a decision was made. 'The' is a definite article and 'Choosing' is a verb, which is a doing word. ...read more.


The word mouse is a synonym to a light brown colour. Synonyms are used to include other words with the same meaning. It also tells us that they are equal and normal average girls. Both girls were first equal and equally proud. "We curtseyed to the Lady Councillor for copies of Collins' Children's Classics." This tells us that both girls were equally clever. The writer has used an alliteration to slow down the rhythm and make it stand out to show how important education was then. However, 'I' had always felt a bit jealous of Mary. "And my terrible fear of her superiority at sums." This tells us that Mary was a little better at Maths than 'I'. This frightened 'I' a little because Mary would become better than her so they would no longer be equal anymore. 'I' felt jealous. The writer has also used 'and', a conjunction to show 'Is' agony and feelings of envy for Mary. "Ten years later on a Saturday- I am coming home from the library." This tells us that there is a change in time, it is the present tense. It also tells us that she wants to learn and get a good job. She has just come back from the library, she may have been studying there, and she is determined not to go back to the old same life. ...read more.


"He wore me like a silken knot." This simile tells us that the Lord found it easy to gain 'Is' trust. However, the Lord cannot completely remove 'I' from his life because she has his son. The Lord needs an heir so he would give lands for one. Mary's father in 'The Choosing' is in a working class situation. He has been described in a way to make him sound strict. "Mary's father, mufflered, contrasting strangely with the elegant greyhounds by his side." This tells us that he isn't a very friendly father. He doesn't believe in high-school education especially for girls so he is sexually double standard and very stereotypical about girls. It was because of his decisions Mary and 'I' took different paths of life. In conclusion, both poems are similar because they consist of women and women's role. Both poems have been written by women. In the 19th century women were expected to get married before they become pregnant. 'I' disobeyed this traditional rule and so she got punished for it. In 'The Choosing' 'I' became jealous of her childhood friend. In the 20th century women were free, they were permitted to work and learn. There was no rush in marriage. The difference is the fact that in both poems the society is different, it is better in the 20th century. Women are included as useful. Afroja Meah, 10L, English, Coursework 2, Ms Perry ...read more.

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