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

How do the authors convey their attitude about ageing in Childhood and My Parents?

Extracts from this document...


How do the authors convey their attitude about ageing in ?Childhood? and ?My Parents?? One of the main concerns of mankind has always been the idea of getting older and living the last years of their long lives. However time passes, and we inevitably enter the process of ageing. Nevertheless, getting closer to death also means starting the countdown of our lives: memories, feelings and thought are a constant reminder of what it has been our time on Earth. Several events that have marked our lives, such as our childhood, or maternity, now leave us fond memories. The poems "childhood" by Frances Cornford and "My parents" by Stephen spender both have a speaker looking back in the time. They constantly recall past feelings, experiences or attitudes that were considerably important for them. However, they differ significantly in many areas such as the structure, the language, the imagery, the rhyme, the repetition, the tone and the rhythm of the poem. They both make use of different literature features in other to bring out their main intentions and ideas. To begin with, the themes differ extensibly. The first poem explores a dual perspective on the ageing process. On the one hand, it is a child who watches "through the banister" and is "helplessly young", but the whole poem is a memory- "I used to think". ...read more.


On the contrary, Frances Cornford decided to develop his poem in only one Stanza. The simple structure and language of this poem effectively contrast with the serious message the poet is trying to convey. The first section vividly describes the physical features of old age, while the second centres around the moment of realisation about "My great-aunt Etty's friend" and her rolling beads from a broken necklace. The writer uses short lines in order to create two different effects; in the first it serves to complete the childish observation before the epiphany in the poem's second section, while the final short line provides the ambivalent conclusion. Another thing to take into account is the way in which the couplets established in the early part of the poem, break up in the last four lines. This portrays the fact that he didn't know much about what he was talking, he only believed in the idea that old persons had "wrinkles" just because they decided it on purpose, but at the end of it, he has noticed that there was nothing to be done against the ageing process but just accepting the idea that one day you would get old enough. Therefore the poet leaves the readers a message: the inability of young and old to understand each other; this can be seen when the narrator says "i used to think that grown-up chose" their deteriorating characteristics. ...read more.


The writer also uses words such as "grope' to describe and give the reader the image of this old woman?s' incapacity to move, and "they chose them to be grand" which indicates that the speaker was very young, since he thought stiff backs, wrinkles, and veined hands were "grand". Last but not least, the poet uses euphemisms as the narrator says "going away". This means that he is avoiding the concept of death, so as not to be interpreted as an aggressive word. On the other hand, Spender also makes use of different devices in order to emphasise the idea of a boy being bullied and the victim's response to the other boys. The writer uses words such as "threw, ran, climbed" to describe the full action of the rough boys, while the narrator's verbs are passive and weak- "feared, looked, pretending". He also uses similes such as "muscles like iron" so as to describe their physical presence, or "threw words like stones" to depict how rough he was treated by the rest. Another thing to take into account is the title, although it is also mention in the first line, we can get by it that the narrator was an overprotected boy. All in all, Spender and Cornford make great use of the literary devices, and could manage to express their ideas and concepts throughout the poems they wrote; both of them recall old feelings and thought which are portrayed all along the narration. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Poets 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 AS and A Level Other Poets essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Exploration Of Poetic Technique In 'HuntIng Snake' By Judith Wright

    4 star(s)

    It also describes the wonder of the onlookers that has yet to falter. The alliteration of 'gone' and 'grass' also serve the purpose of the snake's slippery and disappearing movement. The poem is presented in a tightly controlled structure, divided into four quatrains not only equal length but also of a similar rhyme scheme.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Childhood - Frances Cornford. Grown ups are old on purpose. Grown ups are ...

    4 star(s)

    Cornfords uses rhyming and simple language to create a childlike feel to the opening, the rhyming patterns evoking memories of nursery rhymes. However, as soon as the speaker comes to his realisation, the rhyming stops and the diction also becomes more complex.

  1. The Glass Jar (Gwen Harwood) Analysis. The Glass Jar, dedicated to Vivian Smith, ...

    and then the planes diverge, 'heading south, heading east', some to Australia, some to America. From the wider theatre of war, from the globe's furthest reaches, the action now narrows perceptibly.

  2. Social and literary background to Mirza Ghalib's works. Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan known ...

    He had friends in all camps, among the British, among the Hindus, among the Muslims who aided the British and the Muslims who supported the revolt. Ghalib mourned all of them deeply and sincerely. After the British retook Delhi in September 1857, the Hindus residents were allowed to return three months later in January 1858.

  1. In Breaking the Chain Harrison portrays how, although his parents wanted him to succeed, ...

    Albeit their new 'Long Distance' relationship, Harrison cannot escape the voice of his father because of his need to 'create new wholes' and return them to the closeness once demonstrated in the sacrifice of "a whole week's wage and drink".

  2. Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore being an active politician of his age has written numerous ...

    This is Tagore's voice to banish the Britishers from the subcontinent. He wants them banished, but he also asserts through the play that until and unless the country's leaders and the citizens do not have that atmasakti then this freedom from the Britishers is useless, (as the King himself would

  1. Making close references to language, imagery and form, consider the ways Owen presents and ...

    Like 'Insensibility' there is a very sudden change in the tone near the end of the poem, going from using religious and beautiful imagery to suddenly becoming very unforgiving and again making the reader feel quite guilty for their views on the war.

  2. Reasons why I would invite Michael Longley to speak to my class.

    In "wreaths", Longley again tells us of despicable acts. Longley tells us of a civil servant who was shot by someone who "walked into the kitchen and shot him" while he was "preparing an Ulster fry". The civil servant, a personal friend of Longley's is shot in front of his family, while still in his dressing gown.

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