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The title 'autobiography' is ironic. This poem works on deception.

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Introduction

. The title autobiography is ironic. This poem works on deception. It's simple but deliberate deceptive as some emotions are quite dark. The poem characterises the illness and death of Louis MacNeice's mother. The poem starts off quite happy, the use of colour is important in this poem, as green suggests spring and happiness. Yellow suggests sunlight, youth and pleasant. Black suggests horrific and ghastly images and dark also suggests horrific and frightening images. The rhyming couplets give us a sense of ease in his childhood but the refrain "Come back early or never come" introduces us to loss and abandonment. ...read more.

Middle

The refrain shows haunting quality which emphasizes MacNeice's sense of loss. The "Gentle, gentle, gentleness" of his mother is opposite to that of his loud father. It indicates his love for his mother opposite to his father, who I think he loathed. The bright colours yellow and green which we met in the first three stanzas have now gone in stanza four. He uses gothic colours black. The use of the colour black there is important, as it represents death and fear. In the same stanza MacNeice says, "When I was five the black dreams came, nothing after that was quite the same". ...read more.

Conclusion

When he mentions "Nobody, nobody was there", we can tell that because the word nobody is repeated, it highlights the child's loneliness and terror. In the seventh stanza it says silent terror - terror is such a strong and powerful word and it indicates the suffering that MacNeice occurred. Chilly sun in the end of the poem again indicates things that usually bring comfort and warmth, instead bring suffering and darkness. The chilly sun here is an oxymoron. Overall, this is a poem of suffering for MacNeice. At the start there are bright colours but soon it turns to dark. MacNeice lost his mum at an early age and used bright colours to describe her and the refrain "Come back early or never come" is a direct plea to his mum to come back to him. ...read more.

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