• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Betjeman convey his attitude towards Slough?

Extracts from this document...


Laura Bayon 12/1 How does Betjeman convey his attitude towards Slough? In his poem 'Slough' Betjeman uses a number of ways to put across his views. The title itself suggests he feels that 'Slough' is an appropriate title, that a poem on the place deserves no better or imaginative title than just its name because the place is dull and unimaginative also, or that 'Slough' says it all already. The first line of the first stanza means you immediately know what he thinks, his opinion being straight to the point, asking 'Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough' which is a good use of juxtaposition as bombs are never seen as friendly, but in this case they would be if they bombed Slough as they would be doing him a favour. Asking for bombs to fall on Slough is an outrageous, extreme demand which he repeats in the second stanza and in the final stanza to reinforce his plea, and he also uses other extreme terms such as the people have Slough having 'tasted Hell' which shows clear dislike. ...read more.


Making everything from the food to the minds and breath tinned makes it sound like the people of Slough are all the same and are dull and lifeless. He also uses alliteration in the form of 'cabbages are coming' and 'grass to graze' which help the lines to flow easily. He uses negative words clusters such as 'Hell', 'repulsive', 'stinking' and 'dirty' which show his view of Slough with strong words that appeal to the senses and the imagination of the reader. The tone of the poem is one of dislike, where Betjeman cares so little for Slough that he would cheerfully see it bombed and destroyed. This is a strong image because it must take extreme dislike for someone to want something bombed. The rhyme scheme of the poem also reveals his views because the pattern is AAAB so the first three lines of each stanza flow easily and quickly, and rhyme so the poem seems almost cheerful and happy. But the last line of each stanza is used to put across his point in a harsh phrase such as 'They've tasted Hell' and 'Swarm over, Death!' ...read more.


Betjeman uses irony in his poem as he describes the 'polished oak' desk belonging to the 'man with double chin' and I think Betjeman has mentioned this because he feels that the land that was there before, has now been destroyed, with the trees all being cut down to make room for the buildings, and as if this wasn't bad enough, the trees have been used to make the desks for the people who are responsible for ruining Slough which he sees as sadly ironic. One of Betjeman's key phrases is 'It isn't fit for humans now' which is a strong statement about the state of the place but also the use of the word 'now' at the end suggests how he feels Slough was not always like this and it has slowly been ruined over the years. In this way, I think the poem is tinged with sadness as he feels it has been ruined to the point where there is no way to solve it but to destroy it which is a very emotive, strong view. I think you can sum up Betjeman's view of Slough by the line repeated at the beginning and end of the poem 'Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Betjeman section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE John Betjeman essays

  1. With close reference to two poems you've studied, show how specific places provide Betjeman ...

    Again this has nothing to do with Middlesex. Elaine has a television, which must have been extremely modern at this time. In the third verse Betjeman is thinking of his own memories of the river Brent. The river used to be left to its own devices and find its own

  2. Compare and contrast 'Slough' and 'Belfast Confetti' - Comment on the poetic devices used ...

    ''Nuts, bolts, nails, car-keys.'' We see some use of onomatopoeia in the poem between 'fire' and 'stuttering'. ''This hyphenated line, a burst of rapid fire...I was trying to complete a sentence in my head, but it kept stuttering.'' The letters 't' and 'f' are onomatopoeic.

  1. "Betjeman has... very brilliantly made us think about being alive, being dead... while infact ...

    Verse one describes to us the way that Betjeman remembers his father a little before his death. 'The tie, discreetly loud' this is a paradox, he uses this to show us that his fathers dress sense was very unique and loud but in a discreet way.

  2. Compare and Contrast the Poetry of James Berry and John Betjeman, with particular reference ...

    Betjeman doesn't like the changes in the England either. Even though he was ashamed that his father thought him to be soppy and he knew this caused his father great pain, he knew that what had happened to the English countryside would hurt him even more.

  1. The three little mice

    stomach grumbled even louder, and he was licking his lips with glee at the feast waiting just a short breath away!

  2. Poems by John Betjeman

    They are both set in rich places, 'silver birches, mahogany,' but for the old couple, it is a one off and they are spending lots of money, proof of this is near the end where the couple say 'cheaper to take the tube' whereas with the boy, it's just another day out for him, 'leaded lights of home.'

  1. We have been giving to 20th century poems to examine. They are "Evans" by ...

    This tells us that she was in some kind of old peoples home. The writer says, "But nurse was alone with her own little soul, and the things were alone with theirs." This means that she wasn't really paying that much attention to the woman, she was in her own

  2. Analysis of "Slough" by John Betjemen

    Alternatively however, the fact that full stops are used at the end of each stanza could possibly suggest that Betjemen has structured this poem intentionally, to emphasise every point made in each stanza, and that this poem is used to provoke thought in the reader.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work