Half Past 2 Analysis
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Will Brewer How does U.A.Fanthorpe use language to convey his experience in 'Half-past Two'? Fanthorpe's 'Half-past Two' is spoken from the perspective of an older man reflecting back on the moment in his childhood when he had a naïve, subjective concept of time. The writer uses compound words to convey his concept of time before his teacher told him to stay 'till half-past two', and this gives the impression that the boy cannot 'click' the 'language' of time. Compound words are used to illustrate how much different times mean to the boy and the meaninglessness of numbers. When Fanthorpe says 'He knew a lot of time' she is showing how he knows different times: like 'Tvtime' and 'Timetogohomenowtime' but not, the time, and this leads to him escaping 'into the clockless land forever'.
This is then repeated in the second stanza, and this reinforces the importance of the event. In the third stanza, Fanthorpe writes in the reflective voice of an adult but still uses a capital letter for 'Time' to show how much it meant to him when he was younger. Half-past Two is written in the voice of an adult reflecting on the moment in school when he was lost in time. The writer uses literacy devices, to show the immaturity of the boy at the time, for example he personifies the clock to show the boy does not understand the information given from it. The writing in brackets shows the older boy remembering his emotions when he was younger.
This shows how the teacher is more interested in slotting the student back into his time scheme, and this seems to take priority over the the true meaning of time. By slotting him back into this time-frame, she has taken him out of his trance-like state of mind, and fixed him back into his normal life, now that he has awareness of the time. In conclusion, through two different abstract meanings of time, and the persona of the boy after the event - Fanthorpe coveys the experience of a boy that goes into a trance after forgetting about time. I believe that the most important use of language is when Fanthorpe makes compund words that illustrate the boys perspective of time, as this allows the reader to empathise with him as he is stuck 'in the school-room till half-past two.'
This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE U A Fanthorpe section.
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