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Discuss the way school is presented in both "Leaving School" and "Dear Mr Lee". Consider the way in which the poets use school to explore wider themes and issues, for example, the relationship between adults and children.

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Discuss the way school is presented in both "Leaving School" and "Dear Mr Lee". Consider the way in which the poets use school to explore wider themes and issues, for example, the relationship between adults and children. Both the poems, "Leaving School" by Hugo Williams and "Dear Mr Lee" by U A Fanthorpe, present school in different ways. Both poets have showed their different views and opinions on school and also mentioned other issues and themes such as the relationship between adults and children. "Leaving School" portrays bad points and views about someone's school life and "Dear Mr Lee" shows quite the opposite of this. It is about a child who likes school and has a closer relationship with one of the teachers. Hugo Williams' view of school is quite negative. In "Leaving School" he has written about an adult reflecting back on his life as a child and portrays school as very strict. His life as a student at a boarding school involved taking on a lot of major adult responsibilities and everyone was controlled to do whatever you were told. U A Fanthorpe, however, has quite an opposite view on school to this. ...read more.


Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that he actually gets on with his teacher who has become an inspiration to him. This close relationship between him and his teacher perhaps made him have this positive learning attitude of his. From this, we can say that U A Fanthorpe is intending that having a good relationship and co operation with the teacher can actually influence the child to enjoy learning at school and also create a better relationship between adults and children as a whole. On the other hand, Hugo Williams' intensions are that school is damaging to children and influences a negative relationship between adults and children. Because of the different views on school life in both poems, the tone is also different. In "Leaving School", the adult seems like he has had a hard childhood and we can tell this from how confused he seems to be. This confusion can be pointed out, as some of the subjects in the lines don't seem to connect. One minute the man is talking about one thing and then without finishing he changes the subject matter totally. ...read more.


The punctuation in the poem consists of many commas and then one full stop at the end. This portrays very colloquial and informal language. Using colloquial language reminds the reader that the poem is written by an enthusiastic child, in the form of a letter. An example of this colloquial language is, "pretty gloomy really" used in line 14. However, the child still does try to make the letter as formal as possible as he still puts his own opinions in brackets. This shows us that these opinions of his are important to him. The same technique of outlining importance has been used in "Leaving School" but in a different way. Hugo Williams has personified the word "Inspection" in line 26 to show that this was obviously an important time for the child. In "Leaving School" the language is more formal and less colloquial as this shows us that the child has had adult responsibilities forced upon him and that he has been disciplined well to do whatever he was told. During the course of the poem there are many references made to support this view of adult life. Some examples of this are, "I set out into the world", "wearing a grey flannel suit", "I had my own suitcase". ...read more.

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