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How do the two poets of the poems 'Old Man, Old man' and 'Warning' present different ways of facing the crossroads of 'old age'?

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Introduction

How do the two poets of the poems 'Old Man, Old man' and 'Warning' present different ways of facing the crossroads of 'old age'? Throughout our lives we encounter many crossroads of life. These could be starting school, getting a new job, moving house or getting married but one of the main crossroads in life is old age. For some people old age is a good crossroads in life where they can make a fresh start and do things they have missed out on in their younger years. For others old age is not something to look forward to as we change mentally and physically, often for the worst and things begin to make less sense to us. 'Old man, Old man' is an example of the disadvantages of becoming older and shows the way we handle becoming less in control of our lives and changing mentally and physically. 'Warning' on the other hand is an example of the advantages of old age and how we often use old age to do things we wouldn't normally be able to get away with or to catch up on things we have missed out on, even just as a long holiday. ...read more.

Middle

The poet also makes it seem as if he finds it hard to understand the world he is in now when he says 'shambles amongst clues'. The word 'shambles' indicates a physical loss and in some ways shows a loss of mental capacity, the word 'clues' shows he needs clues to help him remember. In contrast 'Warning' is a fantasy and is therefore defined by positive language as she is looking forward. The way she uses the colours 'red and purple' with quite recklessness means that unlike the old man she won't be overlooked. 'When' is used a lot making it seem like it will defiantly happen making it seem more positive as she will be able to enjoy the experience. 'Old man, old man' focuses on the reality of the debilitating factors of old age where as Joseph bases 'Warning' more on the physical pleasures of old age. The poem 'Warning' is written in a reckless way indicating the retreat back into childhood, all the unsuitable clothes, thoughts and behaviour are emphasised in a child like list each prefixed by an 'and'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Throughout she uses childish words such as 'gobble' and the things she describes are childish which shows how she has missed out and needs to catch up due to such a sensible up bringing. In comparison to 'Old man, Old man', 'warning' gives a very positive approach to old age and she seems to think she will just wake up old suddenly one morning. 'Old man, Old man' however gives a very negative view on old age and makes it seem like a long tedious process. In 'Warning' the narrator is her younger self and it is therefore a more positive view on old age as she thinks of all the things she can look forward to and not the more realistic, more negative points. In 'Old man, Old man' the narrator is not someone who is present in the old mans life but someone observing like his daughter who he 'disinherited'. They show us that with old age we change and our experiences change us mentally, making many things not make sense to us any more. Both the poems present different of perceptions of old age. 'Warning' is more of a dream and imaginary view, but 'Old man, Old man' is more realistic. ...read more.

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