Describe the common themes that appear in 'Hide and Seek' and 'Half-past two'

Essay by toland123 February 2005

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'Hide and seek' by Vernon Scannell is about a young, excitable infant playing the childhood game of hide and seek.

It begins by revealing the juvenile excitement experienced by a child when playing a game - 'Call out. Call loud: I'm ready! Come and find me!' Through the poets use of exclamation marks we can see the child's joy at partaking in the game. It is exhilarating and fun time for the child, but it is also very competitive. The manner in which he hides shows this competitiveness; he meticulously hides under dirty sacking in the garden shed and makes sure that his feet aren't 'sticking out' . Also when his friends are seeking him, they are portrayed as 'prowling in', and 'whispering at the door'. This further intensifies the degree of competitiveness within the game.

However he is determined to win the game, and after a lengthy space of time he thinks, 'It is time to let them know that you're the winner'.

By know the child is supremely confident that he has emerged the victor, however it only exaggerates his betrayal and feeling of abandonment when he finds out the truth.

Finally when the boy victoriously emerges from his hiding place, and shouts 'I've won, I've won! Here I am!' he is greeted by a scene of nothingness -'The darkening garden watches. Nothing stirs'. His childish dreams of a grand procession in his honour are dashed immediately, and we begin to sympathise with the boy as he tragically realises that he has been betrayed and deserted by his friends.

The most important theme explored in 'Hide and seek' is the individual status of one human being. The poem asks the contentious question, how much do we really matter? The poet divulges into this topic and comes to the...