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

In Mrs. Tilschers Class by Carol Ann Duffy is a poem in which she explores the themes of childhood and the transition to adulthood.

Extracts from this document...


In Mrs Tilscher?s Class ?In Mrs. Tilscher?s Class? by Carol Ann Duffy is a poem from her collection, ?The Other Country?, in which she explores the themes of childhood and the transition to adulthood. The poem is a autobiographical monologue published in 1990. It is based however on her childhood during about 1967. The language she uses is particularly striking in conveying the process of maturing to the turmoil of adulthood. The poem is structured into 4 stanzas with the first two being octets and the last two being septets. There is no rhyme scheme. Overall, the structure is unconventional and haphazard which could be suggestive of the changes and chaos that occur in the change from childhood to adulthood. Duffy uses the second person all throughout the poem, which signifies the universality of the theme and opens up to responses from readers. It also insinuates that Duffy is now a different person than she was when she was a child- she is writing from a different perspective about past events. She also uses a lot of evocative imagery and personification to draw comparisons to natural elements. For example, she describes the ?inky tadpoles? which are symbols of the innocent children and later depicts the ?croaking? frogs, all grown up. ...read more.


There is a sense of structure and time in the actions: ?That for an hour, then, a skittle of milk? shows that there is a predictable, rhythmic plan in their lives when they are children. The second stanza primarily explores Duffy?s love for school and its impact on her being. The strongly positive words like ?enthralling? and ?glowed?, the childlike comparisons to sweetshops and sugar paper and the caesuras that compound those ideas as definitive opinions on school. It shows her unflinching love for her childhood life. The juvenile metaphors and similes show her innocence. This is contrasted with the horror of ?Brady and Hindley?, the child assaulters and murderers in the. Again, the suspense created by the caesura leads to a let down where she claims that the murderers ?faded?. That phrase shows the sense of security and safety school provides. Then there is the statement that ?Mrs Tilscher loved you?. This directly shows the love and happiness she received in school. It creates a sense of seemingly endless joy. The transferred epithet in ?good gold star? furthers the notion of contentment. The last line of the second stanza, ?a xylophone?s nonsense..? introduces a new concept- growing up. The children consider their old toys as ?nonsense? which shows the beginning of their maturation. ...read more.


The last line hence gives Duffy?s final stance on the difference between childhood and adulthood. The tone of the poem is one of nostalgia. The positive light she holds her childhood in is evinced through the use of the words ?enthralling?, ?loved? and ?good?. The mood evoked is remembrance because of the ubiquity of pining for childhood. The tone becomes progressively troubled as the poem progresses. ?Brady and Hindley? initially evoke fear. Then words like ?electricity? and ?storm? exacerbate this apprehension. The mood towards the end of the poem is perhaps wistful or melancholy. Quotes: 1. ?You could travel along the Blue Nile? 2. ?Tana. Ethiopia. Khartoum. Aswan? 3. Mrs. Tilscher chanted 4. Chalky pyramids rubbed to dust 5. That for an hour, then a skittle of milk 6. Laugh of a bell 7. This was better than home 8. Glowed like a sweet shop 9. ?coloured paper? ?enthralling books? 10. ?good gold star? 11. ?Mrs. Tilscher loved you? 12. ?slowly, carefully, shaved? ? asyndeton (without and) 13. ?xylophone?s nonsense? 14. inky tadpoles changed from commas to exclamation marks 15. ?jumping and croaking out of the lunch queue? 16. dunce 17. kicked him 18. stared at your parents, appalled, when you got back home 19. smiled, then turned away 20. ?hot, fractious untidy? 21. air tasted of electricity- gustatory 22. ?sexy sky?- alliteration, pathetic fallacy 23. ??sky split open into a thunderstorm? ...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 Carol Ann Duffy 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 Carol Ann Duffy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How has Duffy used classical myths in order to comment on the nature of ...

    5 star(s)

    The relationship here, is now at a point where it is almost humorous, whereby the woman goes off with another woman, where as the man is left trapped still inside a woman's body and having to go off with other men.

  2. Compare and contrast Carol Ann Duffys treatment of love and language in the poems ...

    in text messages - "I tend the mobile now like an injured bird" compared to You's "The curtains stir. There you are on the bed, like a gift, like a touchable dream." The rhyming patterns in both poems are different too. You contains internal rhymes - "...camouflage rooms. You sprawled...

  1. Compare 3 poems by Carol Ann Duffy in which she shows us that things ...

    When broached with the question of 'how you were born' she simply 'smiles then turns away.' Reproduction does not belong in the comfortable atmosphere of Mrs Tilscher's classroom. Mrs Tilscher will no longer be thee to protect you from the outside world and she cannot simply erase the atrocities that are going on behind the 'glowing' classroom walls.

  2. Carol Ann Duffy - Childhood and Youth

    This is reflected in "Mrs Tilscher's Class" where the primary school children are bored of the primary school, and are curious to know more about the world, e.g "how they were born." This shows that the school system in the 20th century did not satisfy the needs of children and

  1. The poem 'Mother, any distance...' explores the ideas of loss and change. Compare the ...

    The measuring tape does not literally unreel years between the two characters, but is a metaphor for the growing distance between them as the speaker becomes less and less dependent on their mother. Eventually the limit of the measuring tape is reached, and the speaker reaches 'towards a hatch' that opens on an 'endless sky'.

  2. "My Grandmother" by Elizabeth Jennings and "In Mrs Tilcher's Class" by Carol Anne Duffy

    "In Mrs Tilcher's Class" is both similar and different to "My Grandmother" in several ways again which I will discuss later in the writing. Like "My Grandmother" it is a memory of the specific time. The poem is about Duffy as a young Infant and her growth to an adolescent

  1. Discuss the ways in which Carol Ann Duffy explores the theme of alienation in ...

    The word voice fills the gap and bridges the space until it is reduced to "in the classroom," emphasising the beginning of alienation when a person is forced to recoil into himself or herself. The word "voice," could be linked to the one word line in Education for Leisure, "language", as they are both forms of communication.

  2. How does Carol Duffy create thecharacter 'Mrs Midas'?

    In stanza two, her feelings had some what changed, she is confused about what is happening in the garden, she asks herself a question (Rhetonical Question), she is wondering what is going on, ' I though to myself, Is he putting fairy lights on the tree', she wonders whether he is dressing up the tree.

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