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ASSISI - CRITICAL EVALUATION

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Introduction

ASSISI - CRITICAL EVALUATION Q: Choose a poem in which the poet has put across a definite point of view. By close reference to the poetic techniques used, show how successful the poet has been in making you share his/ her point of view. "Assisi" by Norman MacCaig is an intriguing and thought-provoking poem, which has put across a definite point of view to me which I believe is that all people should be treated equally and we should try to help those less fortunate than ourselves. In this essay I will show how successful the poet has been in making me share his point of view, with the help of literary techniques such as language, word - choice and imagery. Norman MacCaig has put across a definite point of view for me and has been successful in making me share this view by using thoughtful and intense language. The first aspect of language, which he uses is metaphor in the beginning of the poem when he is describing the dwarf sitting outside the church. He uses metaphor as he says, "The dwarf with his hands on backwards Sat, slumped like a half - filled sack On tiny twisted legs from which Sawdust might run." The metaphor here of the dwarf sitting like a 'half filled sack' is describing the dwarf and how he has a deformed body. ...read more.

Middle

However MacCaig also is trying to put across that the church is sneaky by saying the money is for charity but not using it for charity and we know they do not do this as there is a beggar sitting outside. This to me gets MacCaig's point of view across that we should help those less fortunate than ourselves. In addition, MacCaig also uses word-choice to put his point of view across to me which I believe is that all people should be treated equally and we should help those less fortunate than ourselves. This is done successfully in stanza three as this is when the tourists were walking past the dwarf and did not do anything and MacCaig helped me to understand their actions in a moral and religious context as he says, "It was they who had passed The ruined temple outside..." The word - choice in these lines put the actions of the tourists into a moral and religious context and reveals the poets attitude towards them as the 'ruined temple' is the dwarf who is deformed and in a sense - ruined. Also the tourists passed by him and their passing of the dwarf evokes the parable of the Good Samaritan. The moral context here is that they should have helped him as the Good Samaritan helped his neighbour instead of walking away like the priest and the Levite, and this is who the tourists are compared to him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Here the priest is explaining that it was smart of Giotto to explain to the illiterates whereas there is a dwarf needing his help who he doesn't help. This is ironic as the whole 'business' of Giotto really has become a business, as you now have to pay to get into the church to look at the frescoes. In addition, further imagery used by MacCaig is the comparing of the actions of the priest and the tourists to the parables. This is done in stanza three when MacCaig compares the tourists to the birds scattering for seeds when he says, "A rush of tourists, clucking contentedly, Fluttered after him as he scattered The grain of the Word." This shows me MacCaig is comparing the tourists to the birds and the Priest to the sower. He does not approve of the actions as it is compared to the parable of the sower of when he scatters the grain and the birds flutter after it. He does not approve of the tourists fluttering after the word and ignoring the poor dwarf, when in actual fact they should be helping him. In conclusion, "Assisi" by Norman MacCaig is an intriguing and though-provoking poem, which has put across a definite point of view for me, which I believe is that all people should be treated equally and that we should help those less fortunate than ourselves. In this I essay I have shown how successful the poet was in making me share this view by using his thoughtful and intense language, word-choice and imagery techniques. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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