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Poem Analysis : The First Day at School by Roger McGough

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Critical Poem Analysis: First Day at School by Roger McGough The 'First day at School' takes us through the vast stretch of a child's mind on his first day of school. It voices the feelings of the child; his unknowing mind of the perplexing new world and how that has aroused a sense of anxiety and insecurity inside him. The poem also lets us delve into the child's misapprehending of his new phase of life; his misinterpretations and how he had gotten the wrong idea. With that many qualities are conveyed to portray all this. In this poem it proclaims to have a main theme, use of literary devices, tone and mood plus raised issues and concerns. The poem is basically about the child's confusion in facing the bamboozling world he yet has to explore and discover. His many observations and his deductions on what he sees enacts to the discovery of his naivety and obliviousness. ...read more.


Notions like lessons and classrooms are unfamiliar objects to the child, things that he is unaccustomed to. He might have misheard the words, and that tied in with minor knowledge of the outside world has resulted in misspelt words and erroneous perceptions. In line 23, the word 'wellies' is incorrect. The correct term would be Wellington boots. The word is very infantile and childish, showing he is still in his very youthful days. Another literary device is personification. It is shown in line 8 and 9 '.....Games That are rough, that swallow you up.' Here an object (games) has been given a human-like quality, which is to swallow. The use of literary devices in this poem is to demonstrate the lively imagination possessed by the kid. The tone is confounded and befuddled. This is what is felt by the kid while in the course of adjusting to the yet inexperienced stage of life. ...read more.


Imagine.' He feels that way as he would now have to adjust to the out of regular way of life from then on. The second would be the attachment between the parent and child. Evidence of this is when he yearns for his mother;' I wish she was here.' His false belief in '...wolves and monsters? Things that carry off and eat children?' is also proof of his attachment; he is still at an age where is very gullible and considers the words of parents to be all true. He also remembers the words of his mum -'Mummy said it would come in useful.' even though there is much to occupy his mind. All in all, the poem has succeeded in allowing us to place ourselves into the head of a kid and see life through his eyes. We were able to inquire into the state of mind and the emotional state of the kid as he made his step into a new realm. . ...read more.

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