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How do Vernon Scannell and U. A. Fanthorpe communicate the sense of being a child in their poems ‘Hide and Seek’ and ‘Half-past Two’? How do the experiences of the child in each poem compare?

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Introduction

How do Vernon Scannell and U. A. Fanthorpe communicate the sense of being a child in their poems 'Hide and Seek' and 'Half-past Two'? How do the experiences of the child in each poem compare? 'Half-past Two' is a poem about a young child being placed in a detention and forgotten about by his teacher, while 'Hide and Seek' is a poem about a boy playing hide and seek but is left by his "friends" even after having found him. In both poems, the language used by the poets is very different and well chosen to create different effects, which I will discuss in this essay. Both poets establish the sense of being a child from the first line of their poems but very differently. 'Half-past Two' begins with: "Once upon a schooltime" By beginning with "Once upon a..." this creates a sense of unrealism as we associate fairytales as being fictitious. By conjuring the image of fairytales, we automatically correlate this image to children, therefore establishing the sense of being a child. ...read more.

Middle

On the other hand, the next line makes the reader realise differently: "Their words and laughter scuffle and they're gone." Having found him, they spitefully leave him there and their laughter signifies their ridicule of his attempts to hide from them and the reader is left with feelings of sympathy towards the child hiding. The language used by the poets to describe their experiences give subtle hints of the sense of being a child, however, Fanthorpe does this more successfully in her poem than Scannell. For example, in 'Half-past Two' uses words such as "Gettinguptime" and "Timeyouwereoffnowtime". These are not real words but a string of words run together to create the sense of being a child who does not yet know how to read the time on a clock. To the reader, the phrases would invoke an image of a child who are in the early years of their primary school education so whereas in 'Hide and Seek' the punctuation helps heighten the sense of being a child, U. ...read more.

Conclusion

The figurative language used in 'Half-past Two' has no sense of reality, which heightens the sense of unrealism: "And knew he'd escaped for ever" Unrealism in 'Half-past Two' is justified further when Fanthorpe uses an oxymoron in her poem: "Into the silent noise his hangnail made" By placing the two opposites together, we realise that hangnails do not make noises. Also, the last two lines of 'Half-past Two': "He escaped into the clockless land of ever, Where time hides tick-less waiting to be born." adds to the fairy-tale sense because it is metaphorical. There is no clear meaning surrounding this but one of the ambiguous meanings could be that by the child not knowing about time, he'd somehow escaped into a timeless "world" pending further education where he will learn about time. Out of the two poems, I think 'Half-past Two' establishes the sense of being a child more successfully than 'Hide and Seek'. This is because Fanthorpe uses child-like language and I particularly like the fairy-tale sense established from the first line. However, 'Hide and Seek' is equally a very good read and possesses some child-like qualities too. ?? ?? ?? ?? GCSE English Coursework - Comparative writing By Anne Dang ...read more.

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