Compare how to poets reflect on old age

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Adam Dundon Form 11Y

Compare how the two poets, Joseph and Angelou, reflect on old age

Both of the poems that I have read give the same sort of message, “don’t stereotype older aged people”. Both of these women are trying to say that just because you get a bit older doesn’t mean that the person inside changes as most people would think. In the poem by Joseph she uses listing to show how many things there are. Whilst in Angelou’s poem she just writes it normally with some slang put in there as well, both poems give a different angle on aging but and equal one.

In the poem ‘When I am Old I will wear purple’ by Jenny Joseph, I think she is using the colour purple because it is a colour that stands out, it is not a traditional black or navy blue colour. The colour purple is more of a rebellious colour. She uses purple as a symbol of just letting loose and being rebellious. The message she is trying to put through is that when you are an adult you have to conform and as she says,

“We must have friends to dinner.”

When you get old you can do whatever you want like having a weight lifted off you shoulders, you’re free. Most old people today are stereotyped to have walking sticks and to sit at home all of the time in their rocking chairs, but all people are different and I think they should all be treated differently. The poet tells the reader not to stereotype and assume all old people are the same.

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In middle life, you always have to behave correctly. People have to “set a good example for the children.” When you are middle aged you have to do all the boring things, you mustn’t step out of line, but when you get old and senile, people don’t really care. Being old is almost an excuse, old people can be quite rude and can still get away with it. People don’t seem to mind because they are old and often get patronised.

Whilst being young or middle aged you can practise being irresponsible for when you are older, just ...

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