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Look again at the poems "Half-past Two", "Reports" and "Dear Mr. Lee". How does UA Fanthorpe create a sense of character in each poem and what does the reader learn about her view of the education system as presented in these three poems?

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Ann-Marie Ahola Look again at the poems "Half-past Two", "Reports" and "Dear Mr. Lee". How does UA Fanthorpe create a sense of character in each poem and what does the reader learn about her view of the education system as presented in these three poems? The three poems analysed in this essay are "Half-past Two", "Dear Mr Lee" and "Reports" all of which are written by UA Fanthorpe. The poems are linked to each other as they refer to the education system. The order of the poems are the least critical of the education system to the most critical. In the first poem I have selected to compare is "Half-past Two". The poem follows the thoughts of a small boy, waiting in a classroom for his teacher to arrive at half-past two. The only problem is that he is unable to tell the time and so is unable to judge at what time he must leave the classroom. The minutes he waits in the classroom for his teacher to arrive, feel like eternity to the boy as he's lost in time. The poem shows the young pupil's routine being broken, as he dreams of being lost in a world of confusion. The beginning of "Half-past Two" begins like a fairytale: "Once upon..." in a child-like tone. The main character in the poem is the little boy. The boy is left to stay behind in the classroom as he'd done "Something Very Wrong". ...read more.


The letter is friendly and informal yet trying to be formal in order to show respect. Other character's mentioned in the poem in "Dear Mr Lee" is also a teacher just like in "Half-past Two". The student describes her English teacher Mr Smart as cynical and uninspiring, indicating to the reader he isn't a supporting and helpful teacher. The name "Mr Smart" may be an ironic nickname given by the student, yet the reader never finds out. Mr Smart is a direct contrast to Laurie Lee who is his dynamic opposite. He doesn't seem to motivate his students, which is due to the lack of enthusiasm shown by the student towards his English classes. In "Half-past Two" the teacher didn't mean to leave him in the classroom for that long a period of time to cruel. The teacher had genuinely forgot that she had left the poor little boy in the classroom and did everything she could to slot him back into his usual routine. Mr Smart is harsh and critical as he says to the student that anyone with her punctuation to consider poetry as a career is enough to make "the angels weep". Mr Smart is only interested in exam results and not the subject. The presentation of the education system in "Dear Mr Lee" criticizes the education system, as it doesn't credit the student's enthusiasm and passion for literature and English. From UA Fanthorpes poem, it indicates to the reader that education is interested in good exam results from pupils and wants a restrictive and analytical approach, which discourages a personal and intimate response from students. ...read more.


The education system leads to disillusionment for both pupils', teachers and officials. The future of education will only be grave stones as death is the ultimate teacher ending with an epitaph saying: Rest in peace. From studying all three of the poems written by UA Fanthorpe it becomes obvious to the reader UA Fanthorpe doesn't agree the way education is being run through schools. The message comes across to the reader as UA Fanthorpe criticizes the education system as being corrupt and unjustified. As shown through the poem "Reports" UA Fanthorpe express' her frustration through the teacher. UA Fanthorpe is saying that there is no longer truth and that the education system must be politically correct. My personal response to the poem is that education has become more restricted in the modern day society we are living in today. The education system syllabus concentrates more on getting the grades than getting a pleasurable response from the students. I think for students to be motivated further it's imperative they get the inspiration to learn. Obviously this is no longer happening in the education syllabus. As mention in "Dear Mr Lee" the student's passion for Laurie Lee's literature, wasn't ever credited by their teacher at the time Mr Smart. The student wasn't enthusiastic about learning, so how is a student meant to progress? I felt there does need to be honesty in the education system in order for it to succeed and be efficient, "Reports" addressed my attention to this matter. I feel UA Fanthorpe is raising awareness about what the education system is becoming and make us aware of the issue and decide for ourselves. ...read more.

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