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The Contrasts Between “Old Man Old Man” and “Warning” by Michael Horwood

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Introduction

The Contrasts Between "Old Man Old Man" and "Warning" by Michael Horwood "Old Man, Old Man" and "Warning" are similar in that they discuss about old age. However, they look on old age at different angles. "Warning" is about the rebellious instincts of a woman who will approach old age in the near future. It shows a humorous and looks at elderly women, and that the speaker is willing to challenge the stereotype, by doing things teenagers would do. "Old man, Old Man" has a more serious and depressing look at one man who becomes old. The poem is about an elderly man who disconnects himself from reality, as he edges closer to death, despite his younger years, when he used to be an expert at DIY, and gets further away from his daughter, from who the poem is told by. In "Warning", the point of view is provided by a woman warning the reader about her future: But maybe I ought to practice a little now? So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple. ...read more.

Middle

In his younger days, he was quite alive, and aware: ...He was always A man who did-it-himself The narrator explains that he always did it himself, but this is represented in the past tense, in his earlier years. Now he seems to be unaware of the little things, like his daughter and is uncaring: He lives in a world of small recalcitrant Things in bottles, with tacky labels. After supper, and missing crusted streaks of food on plates;... He seems not to care anymore about the world, and does not even acknowledge the 'things' in bottles. It shows he cannot remember or does not want to know what's in these "things". These could be drugs that old people take, or the nuts and bolts that he no longer knows anything about. He also does not care about 'crusted streaks on plates' however this may be because of his eyesight that is repeated as being poor throughout the poem: Now his hands shamble among clues He left for himself when he saw better He used to see better, but now he just 'shambles', his hands to look for things, which means he does not care anymore, or just cannot see things anymore. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that the poem has a sad atmosphere, because of the old man not caring about his daughter makes a very personal and effective sympathy arise in the poem for the daughter. Both poems show a stereotypical old age people. Warning deals with an old woman, and the fact that they are never rebellious: And pay our rent and not swear in the street And set a good example for the children. Like the stereotypical image, elderly women are always worrying about the children, perhaps because they remind them of their youth. They also have to meet deadlines, like paying the rent. The poem shows us the funnier side of growing old. "Old Man, Old Man", however, deals with a sadder aspect of growing old, like loss of vision, loss of memory, and really going mad: ...Now you ramble on in your talk around London districts, fretting At how to find your way from Holborn to Soho. This is another stereotypical image of elderly people; the world 'ramble' seems to mean he is talking rubbish. Both poems are exceptional at showing us the 'up's and down's of life,' and growing old. The poems make us stop and think do we look forward to old age or not? ...read more.

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