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"How do the poems 'The Choosing' and 'As I Grew Older' explore different lives?"

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English Literature Coursework "How do the poems 'The Choosing' and 'As I Grew Older' explore different lives?" Two different poems explore various aspects in life such as different paths and dreams taken by different individuals. In the poem 'As I Grew Older' punctuation causes the poem to flow at a slower paste. This is done by separating each idea into individual lines, causing readers to stop at the end of each line before continuing into the next. "And then the wall rose," "Rose slowly," "Slowly," In the first stanza, the poet seems to have lost hope, feeling hopeless as his dream is forgotten. Then suddenly, his dream seemed to have moved closer "in front of me" and the ability to reach out to his dreams, once again. In the second stanza, the poet uses and repeats words more than once creating a dream like atmosphere, as the last word at the end of the first two lines are carried and used again in the beginning of the next. ...read more.


In the last stanza, there is a change in both the tone and the speed. The lines seem to flow quicker as each line is longer and extended. Exclamation marks are constantly used while there are less full stops, "my hands!" showing force and motivation. Then the speaker changes his tone demonstrating hope and excitement. "Break through the wall!" indicating success, having the potential to achieve his dream. "The Choosing" explores and compares two individuals and the path they have chosen. The eye is the narrator (participant poet) that creates a stream of consciousness effect. The first stanza stronger enforces the idea to readers that the two individuals are "equal" and "alike", by using words such as "we" "same" and "equal" over and over again. This stanza is written in past tense; with the continuous use of the word "first" indicating that the two individuals have started with the same ability and chances. This stanza informs readers about the similarities and feelings they shared inside school. ...read more.


It has shorter lines that again, would make the flow slower taking in each idea separately. These seem like memories, where Mary is seated on the same bus, but with something extra. Her husband and the newborn baby (suggesting a happy family) since the poet describes how loving they seem. Then the speaker says "not that I envy her, really" giving an impression to the readers that somewhere deep inside her, she would too like someone who loves her. Finally in the last stanza, there is a comparison between the speaker and Mary. Mary's arm wraps around her newborn baby, where the speaker's arm are full of books. The speaker "wonders" what path would have been taken if the individuals were able to make their own choices, wondering if they would have chosen different paths, as the speaker finishes with "we do not remember making them." In conclusion, the two poems explore different lives through the use of punctuation and repetition of words, which helps to create imagery as well as assisting the indication of the passing of time. ...read more.

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