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

Two Hands

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Two Hands The poem "Two Hands" by Jon Stallworthy depicts the inadequacy and loneliness felt by a son in a distant father son relationship. Through the poets diction, use of stylistic devices such as alliteration, enjambment and his vivid use of sensory imagery, the poet paints a sad picture of loneliness and inadequacy. By following the speaker''s soliloquy of emotional turmoil, the reader is able to understand the speaker''s feelings of isolation and his desperate, yearning desire to establish a relationship with his father. The poem initially describes a series of objects as taking progressively anthropomorphic actions, from nodding, to dancing and finally sobbing. Then its focus shifts to the surgeon whose hand has caused these actions. Next, its focus broadens to the narrator, the surgeon's son whose poetry vocation and personality compare poorly with the great public services of his father, whom the son longs to be of service to. Finally, some of the original objects recapture the focus of the poem and of the father, again leaving the son in his customary and demoralizing position of being left at home suffering from comparison with his absent father. ...read more.

Middle

A third, a more personified and less equal, object seems to feel unsatisfied longing for the hand's touch, in the description of a telephone as having "finally sobbed itself to sleep", . This description as a whole seems to be a projection onto the phone of the speaker's own experience of sobbing himself to sleep while waiting for his father. Perhaps both the phone and the speaker have cried out many times to be picked up by the hand. The reader cannot help but guess that a famous surgeon would have responded more reliably to the frequent cries of the phone than of his son. The surgeon owning the hand, and the speaker and his own hand, then move to he center of the poem's picture. The surgeon is clearly described as a man whose disciplined workday outlasts the phone's rings, the son's cries, and each of their sobs, because he "still has articles to read". This contrasts starkly with the speaker's first direct self-description as indecisive, undisciplined and frustrated, in the next lines: "[my] hand's indecisions keep me up cursing nightly". ...read more.

Conclusion

But the son's hopefulness is quickly undercut, and the poem's comparative hierarchies are clarified emphatically. First, the son observes that, even in their common "ability to write", his father's hand moves rapidly, in contrast with the son's own much slower writing movements. Next, the telephone reawakens with a spasm. In stark contrast to the speaker's interrupted thoughts, to which his father had been oblivious, the telephone causes the father to immediately drop his pen. This suggests that the father's pen - which is his only commonality that his son can imagine - is weaker than the telephone, which now determines abruptly that the father will "be out again". In this light, the telephone's previous "sobbing to sleep" now appears to be entirely a projection of the son's own sad memories. The poem has no express stanzas, which gives an impression of words and emotions tumbling out spontaneously without time for logical organization. Throughout the poem the author employs various metaphors and emotive language to depict the barrier between his father and himself and his desire for a close relationship with him. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages 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 International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Commentary on poem "Two Hands"

    However, there is no portrayal of emotion from the father's side in the text, which can only show that according to the son, there is no love provided from the father's side at all. Another vivid theme in the text is that of the conflict between family and career, which

  2. Fasting Feasting by Anita Desai Detailed Study Notes

    In one of the most significant chapters of the book, Anita Desai is able to capture and vivify "the pantomime" of the American family. The barbecue is the central setting and motif for this passage and is indicative of how Americans value food as at the centre of all their attention.

  1. Commentary on "Two Hands"

    One thing that can be noticed in the poem is that although the poet appreciates his father and considers him as a perfect role model, he sort of also feels a little jealous of his father. This according to me is the negative aspect of the poem that the poet has not been very clear about.

  2. Commentary on Two hands

    The punctuation, which comes after, then creates a somewhat informal air. Metaphors are commonly used throughout Stallworthy's poem in order to create an intricate mood. In the line "The phone has sobbed itself to sleep" we can find personification (of the phone), assonance (of the o's)

  1. Vietnamese Poetry and Language

    dung, mo�t ca�nh ngo�, ke�t ca�u kha�c nhau nh�ng luo�ng va�n co� s��c thu hu�t, lo�i cuo�n ng��i �o�c kho�ng the� d��ng la�i sau mo�i truye�n, ma� pha�i gi� sang trang sau, �o�c tie�p truye�n kha�c. Ta�p truye�n chia la�m hai pha�n.

  2. Commentary on Earl Lovelace(TM)s 'The Dragon Can(TM)t Dance'

    thing that takes place as if each component in the second paragraph is significant enough to be underlined in its own sentence. This difference in sentence structure, gave yet another meaning to the first sentence of the extract, that the happenings in the second paragraph were more important than the ones in the first paragraph.

  1. Swedish. This paper examines the ideological differences between the two major political parties ...

    0 3 ’’Præsteord’’ Change 15 8 Care 12 4 Future 7 4 Jeg har udvalgt følgende ovenstående ord jeg mener, kendetegner henholdsvis en præst og en kriger. Som vi kan se på ovenstående tabel ligger overtallet af krigerord hos John McCain, mens overtallet af præsteord fremkommer hos Barack Obama.

  2. Significance of Objects

    His abandonment of his favorite food could be a suggestion that the transformation has changed Gregor more than just superficially but has fundamentally altered his physiology. This idea that Gregor's change is manifested in his diet is further developed

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