Presentation on theme: "Intermediate 2 Revision. On the surface, the poem describes the event of the speaker meeting and assisting an old, disabled man to the toilet. Through."— Presentation transcript:
On the surface, the poem describes the event of the speaker meeting and assisting an old, disabled man to the toilet. Through this experience, we learn about how the old man is seen through the eyes of others. We then discover what it is like to be in his shoes and realise just how difficult and indeed frightening his life can be. It is clear to us that by the end of the poem the speaker has realised a great deal about the strength of this man and has great respect for his courage.
A large idea that forms the base of a work of art (literary, cinematic or other) and runs through it. The theme is usually linked to the message of a text and what the author was trying to make the audience think or feel. A commentary on an aspect of human experience.
Much of Edwin Morgan’s poetry is focused around “ordinary” people and society, and his poetry is often viewed as a commentary on society as he observes it. “In the Snack-bar” has a fairly obvious theme, inviting the reader to consider the place of the disabled, less-fortunate or “needy” in society. Morgan clearly feels that people do not do enough to help those in need in modern society: “His life depends on many who would evade him” This quote quite clearly indicates that the poet feels most people in society would turn a blind eye to people like the old man rather than lend a helping hand. However, “In the Snack-bar” could also be seen as a tribute to the fighting spirit of the old man, and to those in society who are less fortunate, yet refuse to give up: “persisting patience of the undefeated” This attitude from the old man is all the more astonishing given what he has to face in his life, and is one of the reasons the reader and the narrator cannot help but feel a sense of admiration towards him.
In your personal response to the poem, comment on what you think the theme of the poem is. How does the poem make you feel and what does the poem make you think? How does the poet achieve this? Reflect on whether or not you agree with the poet’s views, or whether the themes explored made you see an issue in a different light. If you are asked for your personal response in a critical essay, remember to link your personal response to what the question is asking and to comment on the techniques used by the poet and the effect you feel they had on the poem.
Character e.g. poem which portrays an interesting character. Setting e.g. a poem in which setting plays an important role. Message e.g. a poem which could be considered as having a powerful message. Emotion/mood/atmosphere e.g. a poem in which the poet creates a particular mood or atmosphere.
If you are choosing to write about this poem in an exam situation, you are most likely going to be looking to answer a question which requires you to: Write about a poem you found interesting/striking/challenging/enjoyable/thoughtprovoking. Or Write about a poem which makes you feel emotion/sympathy/admiration/ empathy/compassion for a character. Or Write about a poem which made you think in a different way about an issue/reconsider your views on an issue. Regardless of which particular type of question it is you answer, your job will be to analyse the techniques used by the poet to make you, as the reader, feel sympathy/change your views/enjoy the poem etc.