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My Paper Planes By Kenneth Wee - Compare and contrast the speaker's attitude towards life with that of his subject in the poem.

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Introduction

Literature Poem Analysis My Paper Planes By Kenneth Wee i) Compare and contrast the speaker's attitude towards life with that of his subject in the poem. From the way the speaker laments about his brother, we can clearly tell how the both of them have totally contrasting attitudes towards life. Moreover, as flying paper planes were one pastime that both brothers used to share in their childhood, the speaker talks about their paper planes metaphorically, letting us in on the way they each view the world. Being the older brother, the speaker was a doom and gloom pessimist who viewed the world in dismal light. He was constantly harping on how "there was always homework and a thousand other things" that he could not devote his time to other more meaningful areas, such as spending quality time with his younger brother. He was also too caught up in the fast pace of work, that he forgot to take time and enjoy himself, or to carry himself with some humour and gaiety. ...read more.

Middle

The speaker's brother, on the other hand, was a hopeful optimist, who always saw the brighter side of life. Being younger, he was naturally more na�ve, and viewed the world with more simplicity and curiosity. Due to their conflicting attitudes, he was told to "grow up, face the world" by his older brother. Even then, he remained carefree and possessed good humour, his "smiling face" bringing cheer to the people around him. However, a tinge of constraint to his nature could be felt from the poem, as his brother supposed was happier, "riding on imagination's flight, away from the dull earth". Although he lived in the same "dull earth" as his older brother, his high spirits were not diminished. With the burning curiosity and vivid imagination in him, the speaker's brother was idealistic and dared to dream, unlike his kin. He "set free earthbound homework into dreams that flew" and did not take life too seriously, for he was just a young soul, not aware of the real world. ...read more.

Conclusion

The speaker remembered his brother for his "planes swirling with grace", and "bubbling laughter's pace", some qualities that he himself did not possess. After the death of his younger brother, it then dawned on the speaker that the earth did not seem as "dull" as he made it out to be, and that his brother understood the ways of the world better than he. Thus, their relationship was more of mutual admiration and respect, rather than true compassionate sibling love. When they were young, the younger brother was obliged to respect the speaker, but after his death, the tables were turned and the speaker in turn looked up to his younger brother for his rosy prospect of life. Secondly, the age gap between the two brothers also posed as a barrier for development of their relationship. Being older, the speaker had different priorities compared to his brother. For instance, he felt that imagining and dreaming were childish and insignificant. However, after his brother died, the speaker then started to relish the memories of his brother and threw the paper planes for him. After all, those "poor pieces of paper" are all he had left of his brother. ...read more.

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