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Compare how Fanthorpe and Scannell present the viewpoint and concerns of a child in "Half-Past Two" and "Hide and Seek".

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Introduction

Compare how Fanthorpe and Scannell present the viewpoint and concerns of a child in "Half-Past Two" and "Hide and Seek". Compare how Fanthorpe and Scannell present the viewpoint and concerns of a child in "Half-Past Two" and "Hide and Seek". "Half-Past Two" and "Hide and Seek" are two poems which are focused on one stage of a child's maturation, both taken from a child's perspective. Both poems express the feelings and emotions of a child in a certain situation but at the same time contain overtones of the harsh reality of growing up. Vernon Scannell and U.A. Fanthorpe give a removed perception of how a child would view this situation. At the same time both poems give an adults viewpoint of the situation. Both poems focus on a child's view to make it possible for us as adults to compare how we would act in that situation. Both poems focus on the experiences of a child which we realise take far greater importance for the child then they would for an adult. This is because the children are being put through processes of maturation. In "Hide and Seek" this is done by putting the child through disappointment, in "Half-Past Two" Fanthorpe does this by giving the child his first experience of abstract time. These are both minor incidents but have major importance to the child. Both poems are similar in the way that they are both trying to show the nature of the process of maturation. In "Half-Past Two" the explicit idea of the poem is to show how a child deals with understanding a new concept which is abstract time. ...read more.

Middle

In this stanza Fanthorpe has presented us with two possible views of this experience. The first way we could picture this is that the child has entered a state of grace. He has been removed from the restrictions of time and is liberated from it. The other way we could view this, from a more negative viewpoint, is that the child has realised that he is now no longer a child with petty concerns but has been entered into the adult world where he has to be independent. This brings us to the question of the nature of maturation in the poem. The child's view seems positive but there are overtones of this harsh reality of growing up and losing this childish innocence. The final two lines take a positive ending: "He escaped into the clockless land of ever, Where time hides tick-less waiting to be born." This is a positive ending and it makes the stages maturation and the misunderstanding of abstract time seem like more of a good experience then it first seemed. In the poem Fanthorpe has shown the different views of a child and the world. She has tried to show how a child views time and how a child sees adults. She has also tried to show what a child prioritises, for example the child will stay late at school so they don't upset the teacher. Fanthorpe also puts overtones of how the views and experiences of a child relate back to society as a whole. Fanthorpe tried to show how the view of a child differs to an adults a lot but that is what gives them their innocence and naivety. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the end of "Hide and Seek" It is clear that the tone is far darker then the end of "Half-Past Two": "...Nothing stirs. The bushes hold their breath; the sun is gone. Yes, here you are. But where are they who sought you?" At the end there is a clear sense of abandonment and humiliation created. Through the changes in tone throughout the poem there are suggestions that this abandonment is inevitable and the tone is one of the major causes for this feeling of desertion and neglect. The use of pathetic fallacy at the end "the sun is gone" darkens the mood even more and intensifies this feeling of abandonment. From the endings of both poems it is clear that "Hide and Seek" ends on a dark tone but "Half-Past Two" seems to end differently. Although "Half-Past Two" seems sinister with the unresolved ending it ends on a lighter tone then "Hide and Seek" and the experience seems far less daunting. Although the tones of each of the poems is different there are many relationships between both. Scannell and Fanthorpe use different techniques to put through the same message, that the oppressive nature of society will destroy childhood innocence and naivete. In "Half-Past Two" Fanthorpe uses the teacher as the oppressive force in society and she causes the child to have this experience, whereas in "Hide and Seek" the group of children are the oppressive force leaving the child abandoned and embarrassed. The message of "Hide and Seek" is much darker then what is shown by Fanthorpe but the message in both poems are extremely similar. Both poems illustrate that children in society are given far less importance then adults causing them to be oppressed by society, putting them through disappointment and abandonment. ...read more.

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