Compare and contrast 'Hide and Seek' by Vernon Scannell and 'Half-past Two' by U. A. Fanthorpe

Essay by smita285High School, 10th gradeA-, December 2002

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'Hide and Seek' concerns a boy hiding cautiously whilst playing hide and seek with his peers. Gradually, he realises he has been abandoned, and fear overcomes him due to being isolated in the dark surroundings. The tone is incredibly certain and positive at the beginning. However, his confidence gradually fades away as the realisation of his abandonment occurs. The mood is analogous to the tone. At first, we can sense the excitement. This modifies to anxiety and nervousness towards the end. The poet uses language features to portray the tone. On the first line, exclamation marks are used to show the enthusiasm of the boy. Scannell uses personification and the senses to describe the surrounding atmosphere in a vivid way. Therefore, the reader gets a clearer image. Occasional rhyme is used to add a sense of rhythm to the poem. The poem is one continuous stanza. It is like dramatic monologue in that it creates character, but it is actually second person.

The structure emphasises the unbearable length of waiting time. The adult speaks to his childhood self in second person, explaining feeling and thoughts. There are short sentences to build up tension and create stillness. The themes explored in 'Hide and Seek' are childhood experiences, reflection, isolation and abandonment. These themes are also explored in 'Half- past Two'. This poem also explores various other themes such as time restriction and criticism of teaching methods.

Half-past two is about a child who has been naughty. The punishment given by his teacher is to stay in the room until half- past two. She forgets that she hasn't taught him time. He only understands his routines and throughout the poem we see how the child escapes time because he doesn't know it. The poet uses tone and language methods to portray the...