How does Elizabeth Jennings use poetic devices and language in Father to Son, to effectively portray the theme of generation gap and its consequences.
Answer as written by the student:
Elizabeth Jennings uses poetic devices and language in Father to Son to effectively portray the theme of generation gap and its consequences. She employs these literary techniques to create a sense of distance, misunderstanding, and frustration between the father and the son.
One of the main poetic devices that Jennings uses is contrast , which is a figure of speech that juxtaposes two different or opposite things to highlight their differences or similarities Jennings uses contrast to show the gap between the father’s and the son’s perspectives, feelings, and actions. For example, in the first stanza, the father says that he does not understand his son, even though they have lived together for years. He then tries to build a relationship based on how his son was when he was small, implying that he has not changed or grown with his son. This contrasts with the son’s desire to be independent and different from his father, as he says in the second stanza that he is not the same as his father, and that he has his own land and life. The contrast between the father’s nostalgia and the son’s rebellion reveals their lack of communication and connection.
Jennings uses repetition to emphasize the main theme and message of the poem, which is the loss of childhood and the failure of understanding. She repeats the question “When did my childhood go?” four times in the poem, creating a sense of confusion and regret in the father. He also repeats the phrase “I cannot tell” twice in the last stanza, indicating his inability to pinpoint the exact moment of his transition from childhood to adulthood. He also repeats the word “go” four times in the poem, suggesting the idea of movement and change. The repetition of these words and phrases creates a sense of rhythm and urgency in the poem, making it more memorable and impactful for the reader.
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