• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Textual Analysis and Response to: In Memory of Zoe Yalland and Tortoise By Andrew Motion.

Extracts from this document...


A Textual Analysis and Response to: In Memory of Zoe Yalland and Tortoise By Andrew Motion. By Christine Read. Both poems represent suffering in the twentieth century, albeit different types. Both are also written in blank verse. This allows the author to write using a very flexible form not being hampered in the expression of thought or syntactic structure by the need to rhyme. The title ‘In Memory of Zoë Yalland’ is stating clearly that this is a memorial to the lady; however, this does not mean that it is an obituary. Although it is written after her death I don’t necessarily see it as an obituary, rather more of an epitaph, and a bitter one at that. Obituaries are generally very generous in their remembrance of the deceased. They usually describe their life and the contributions they made to it, paint a pretty picture of how loved they were and how sadly missed they’ll be. This poem is totally contrary to the norm as regard to obituaries. ...read more.


Here is a man who has fought wars, seen comrades suffer and die, and is left but a shell of his former self. He has shut himself away from the world, for it’s grievances are nothing compared to what he has seen and experienced. He walks around like you or I and yet in his eyes his turmoil is clearly visible. Nothing is important to him anymore; he wanders day to day, questioning nothing, existing, and drifting like a forgotten spirit. This poem is brimming with bathos. It made me feel melancholy. Zoë’s poem is quite angrily written. There are undertones of bitterness and regret, maybe these are emotions felt by the author for his subject. Words such as ‘dog shit’ and ‘nothing done’ show the harshness of the author’s feelings towards her situation. His tone throughout is sad and regretful, with a hint of unfairness; he knew an awful lot about her life. It paints a very bleak picture of a young, hopeful, yet very sad life that never quite came up to her expectations. ...read more.


His words were cutting, as if to shock the reader into recognising the reality of this awful situation. The text of ‘Tortoise’ in comparison to ‘Zoë’ is quite positive, although in a sad way. ‘So he became a sort of miraculous stone’ suggests that even though he was struggling he overcame his problems and adjusted, even after he had everything ‘shot away’. Everything about the poem suggests a gentle surrender to life’s difficulties. ‘You see?’ is almost like saying, “oh well!” phrases like ‘no question either’, ‘no reason to hurry’ and ‘life is simple’, are all positive, but in the context of the poem it’s as if he has given up, and so, life is no longer difficult. He can’t change what has happened, so he just lives with it, inside his shell. In conclusion I found ‘In Memory of Zoë Yalland to be a very negative poem with harsh realities and no hope, while ‘Tortoise’ was more positive and hopeful, although it still cleverly portrayed suffering using a clever use of language. While ‘In Memory of Zoë Yalland’ bore pathos, ‘Tortoise’ contained bathos. These were two poems both displaying suffering but in entirely different ways. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Narrative section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Narrative essays

  1. A close textual analysis of Chapter Eighteen of 'Notes From a Small Island' by ...

    Also within this sentence is a deictic reference to the trouser press. Bill Bryson describes this as 'counter-productive', which, in coalition with the derogatory connation 'these' carries, supplements his comic tone.

  2. Six Collected Documents: An analysis of commercial use printed media

    and the telephone number and website address is only a line each, the text is in size "10" and style "Times New Roman" this is a usual font size and style to use as letter header, There is one return form the postcode to the telephone number.

  1. Literary Linguistics and Critical Appreciation - Stylistic analysis of a fragment from novel and ...

    While Natume Soseki makes proof of deep insights into the teachings of Jodo Buddhism, his character does not, and hence his habit of sleeping with his feet pointing the west. The fact that he unconsciously 'decided that evening to arrange my [his] bedding so that my [his] feet would point

  2. Write a response to 'Embroidery' by Ray Bradbury from two different critical positions.

    Another aspect, which may interest feminist readers, is the embroidery, which is constructed by one of the women. It pictures the perfect household, equipped with a 'a green field, brown road,' and embroidered 'pink house.' There is also a male character sewn into the embroidery that is described to have something 'wrong with his face.'

  1. Six Document Analysis.

    To improve this letter I would simply change the ending from 'Yours Sincerely' to 'Yours Faithfully' as this is the correct ending for a letter starting with 'Dear Friend'. Apart from this minor mistake I think the letter is well presented and portrays a good image of the charity.

  2. Advert analysis.

    The contraction of you would to you'd gives it a more informal feel. Suggesting that you would do this as well. The second sub heading is clear cut and straight to the point. It tells you the answer. The word agony is used, this is a strong word and makes it more dramatic but effective.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work