An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley (c) One of the main themes of An Inspector Calls is that of lies.

Show how Priestley exposes deceit, both in his characters and in society as a whole. Discuss with close reference to the novel. Lies is one of the main themes of “An Inspector Calls.’ We discover that in this play, much deception is practiced in a tangled woven web of lies. Sybil Birling, a social snob, is revealed as a liar when she states that she has never met Eva Smith. In fact, she has met Eva, when the latter appealed to the Brumley Women’s Committee for help. As she is a liar, Goole is accordingly harshest with her, when he exposes her. Eva, the deluded victim, lied to Sybil for survival, calling herself “Mrs. Birling.” In fact, she is unmarried and is the mother of Eric’s unborn child. Why should she presume to call herself “Mrs. Birling”? Perhaps it is because Birling is Eric’s surname and she represented herself initially as an abused married woman. Perhaps she hoped that Sybil would pity her, or she wished to blackmail Sybil for concealing the shameful secret. However, her unfortunate indiscretion led Sybil to spurn an subsequently lie to Goole. Arthur, as a parsimonious Capitalist, insists that he is not responsible for Eva’s death. He lives in a world of self-delusion, in which he figures as the hero. When this is viewed in the perspective of society as a whole, Arthur is living a lie. As an employer, he ought to provide Eva with benefits yet denies his responsibility when she commits suicide. He is clearly responsible for her death as he had fired her. His mask of shallow hypocrisy is exposed in the revelation of Eva’s impregnation by Eric. He is furious with Eric for seducing Eva not because he pities the latter. Instead, he says, “There’ll be a public scandal.” He wishes to keep the scandal under wraps in order to protect his reputation and this is living a life of deceit. Sybil as the member of the Brumley Women’s Committee, is supposed to offer assistance to battered women. However, she rejects Eva’s appeal for aid, dismissing her. The Committee, in fact, is but a mere lie – it is a veneer for status and respectability rather than a helper of unfortunate females. Priestley portrays his contempt for the upper classes that use facades for prestige but do little. Goole, too, is ultimately revealed as a liar as he is not an Inspector. He serves to trip the masks of the others and expose deceit. In this way, deceit reveals deceit. Hence, deceit in a society as a whole is extremely prevalent. Eva used it to survive; the Birlings practiced it for a secure reputation. However, deceit is a destructive force that eventually pulls us down when it is revealed as in the cases of Eva and the Birlings; and this way, Priestley conveys his opinions on the shallowness of deceit, particularly when exposed.

mutable and inexperienced. “But these girls aren’t cheap labour – they’re people. Priestley. she tells Eric. being affected by Goole’s harangue and accepting responsibility for Eva’s death. The playwright of “An Inspector Calls. In those days. she feels. If one analyses deeply. virtuous and constrained. to show how Priestley uses the character to convey his own opinions and attitudes. two years prior to the First World War. Hence.B.” J. is a . a Capitalist. The Inspector observes that she was “jealous of her. Sheila. and is honest enough to face up to her gross misdeed. through Sheila. and by writing this play. Write a character study. This theme centres on Arthur Birling. she is open-minded and not truly conservative. A conspicuous trait in Arthur Birling is his egotism. was a dedicated supporter of socialism. (c) Select one of the members of the Birling family. The play is set in 1912. girls were expected to be modest. Arthur Birling. “Oh. When the Inspector informs her that there are girls who live in poverty-stricken states due to parsimonious employers. he vents his own opinions and attitudes through his characters. It is perceptible to the reader that a prevailing aspect of the play is Capitalism versus socialism. she protests. she clearly sees her luckless wrongs. “It doesn’t much matter” that Goole turns out not to be an Inspector. We see her spite and malice when she had Eva Smith fired for humiliating her by looking pretty.” In the end. Certainly she has a sensitive nature hidden within that is brought out when she is undeceived. Priestley wishes to show that the younger generation is open-minded enough to learn to accept responsibilities for others. Birling. she is shown to be impressionable. Describe Sheila. she affectionately kisses Gerald in a state of excited elation upon receiving a ring from him. for “squiffy” is a slang for “slightly drunk. when the revelations of her spite acted on Eva and the dilapidated conditions of laborers are brought to her. I n one instance. As they are young. “You’re squiffy” which was considered unladylike in 1912. in the home of a prosperous manufacturer. being a member of the younger generation in an upper-middle class hierarchy. is initially naïve and spoilt.(b) Sheila represents the younger generation that Priestley hops is still open-minded enough to learn to accept responsibilities for others. being receptive to new ideas.” However. using the text for reference. Furthermore. darling!” she exclaims in delight. in fact. she is genuinely shocked.” Furthermore. such radical responsibility can be inculcated in them.

he can afford to raise her salary. We ought to respect those with honour. is concerned for the ill-paid lower classes. even when he is supposed to be at ease.B. the reader can see that Birling’s vulnerability to high society is indeed shallow. “You’re just the kind of son-in-law I always wanted” and “I’m delighted about this engagement” show that he is impressed by Gerald’s genteel family. his earnings. being a Socialist. we see that he refused to increase the renumeration of capable workers. This is rather amusing. and hence. this is supposed to be a relaxed. Its evil influence is portrayed in Birling. Responsibility hovers around the play.subject of satire. we find proof of his avarice: he refused to raise the wages of capable employees despite being well-off. money-grubbing and stingy capitalists can be. ideals and determination. A young woman in her position had little to live on. He is responsible for paying their wages and to provide them with a suitable workplace. was dismissed. they are dismissed.” We can see his greed and parsimony. a “good worker. J. It is his responsibility to provide them so that that can enjoy a life of sufficient needs. he is intended to be portrayed as a typical Capitalist. and give employees a right to live better lives and more equally. as they held power and dominance over their social inferiors. many things are to their advantage. the latter views the veneer of respectability as an honour. as eva Smith was. Later.” It is clear that his desire for wealth cannot be restrained. Priestley wishes to point out his contempt for capitalist class systems by satirizing Arthur Birling. As an employer. Money is a destructive force an Priestley demonstrates his disdain for its risky influence. Birling shows an injustice in refusing to reward Eva Smith. Indignant. Priestley. Further illustrations of Birling’s character are in his eager remarks to Gerald. which she deserved as she increased productivity. Birling is responsible for his workers’ welfare. as it obstructs our finer feelings. Yet he is obstinate in his selfishness. and Eva Smith. If their employees go on strike. joyous celebration. he is obviously elated to welcome Gerald into his arms as his future son-in-law. he is a pompous snob of the upper hierarchy. Besides. yet Birling admires him for his wealth and gentility. who spoke out – understandably – for her rights. “we may look forward to the time when Crofts and Birlings … are working together – for lower costs and higher prices. the puppet. A man of wealth. /yet. and Birling who already behaved graspingly. yet Birling must “talk business on an occasion like this. Gerald’s character is not particularly radical or persevering. There was little protection for workers then.” In fact. often ostentatiously displaying his advantageous connections.” he boasts to Gerald Croft. Priestley wishes to show how shallow. his employees started a strike. “I might find my way into the next Honours List … a knighthood… I was Lord Mayor … when Royalty visited us. We ought to compensate those who work industriously towards higher profits. ought to .

Birling retorts that “there isn’t a chance of war.” He is trying to avoid the possibilities of his ruin. Birling puts is foot down. With Birling’s preconceived notions. Sheila voices her sympathy for Eva. but Birling disdains this. but also the ideas of the young. When the Inspector confronts Birling with this information. and impose their haughty stands on the youngsters. Another implication lies in Birling’s role as the autocratic father. she shared responsibility. This play is not merely about the pinions of Socialists. They fear this change. He is narrow-minded and prejudiced against the lower-classes. and can do better for the labourers. yet give them an unequal share and refuse to be held accountable for their inhumane actions. They consider possibilities. Priestley shows that the rich make the poor suffer. in other words. and taken her under his wing. It is the young who bring new ideas. to provide her with a job. Being capable. It is his responsibility to pay her benefits. It is ironical that he mentions. The young are less hardened. He treats females with less respect. the ideals and the efforts of the young are required. He aims to charge higher prices. With these girls. He evidently does not believe in the young voicing their opinions. Birling could have offered better products to his consumers. The old cannot change sufficiently quickly for new reforms. In another perspective. the young and revolution. A Radical. this solution would have fulfilled his other responsibility – to the consumers. society cannot progress to a fairer state. Eva was forced to resort to finding another job. Capitalists should be willing to accept responsibility.have re-employed her. Priestley indicates that we should share our responsibility – fairly. Eva Smith and the other ringleaders would have increased productivity. “why shouldn’t they try for higher wages? We try for the highest possible prices. but due to their unestablished position in the world.” Eva was helping Birling to make profits. her death. Eric and Sheila express their views that labourers have the right to “try for higher wagers”. he is even more accountable for Eva’s sufferings. Priestley points this out. Birling ought to have allowed Eva more freedom for her diligence. but her earlier dismissal led to a concatenation of disastrous events. How can we hope for revolution with the young suppressed? Birling’s bigotry is depicted in his male chauvinism. More so. and with . as Birling did not provide benefits. the old hold them in contempt.” Birling instead becomes angry with him and this shows his hypocrisy. but they are exposed to new ideas. To ignore their workers’ needs would be inhumane. The revelation of Birling’s hand in Eva’s demise arouses Eric.” For further progress. torment and ultmtely. quality of the products and profits. Birling cold-heartedly refuses to “accept any responsibility” for her death as it would be “very awkward. but disallows his workers from following suit. After her dismissal. “Look at the progress we’re making. and should therefore ensure a comfortable living for them. Capitalists gain profits from their employees’ efforts and drudgery.

After the war. and girls like Eva Smith do not have the protection of a male figure. and ought not to know about violence and strumpery. they do not permit strikes. however. despite the fact that rich Capitalists pooh-poohed this notion. The war caused more equality.contempt. The downtrodden revolted and fought for more equality. It does not anger him. and Socialism triumphed. we can administer justice and determine our responsibilities. or a few German officers … begin talking nonsense … there isn’t a chance of war … The world’s developing so fat …Look at the progress we’re making … we’ll have aeroplanes that will be able to go anywhere … you’ll be living in a world that’ll have forgotten all these Capital versus Labour agitations and all these silly little war scares. Should not capable women be free to speak? Being ignorant increases their vulnerability. He has little admiration for womanly strength. That portrays that he does not respect her rightful opinion. Birling strives to conceal Eric’s affair with Eva. in order to preserve his reputation. despicable person. He does not believe in the possibility of war. The discovery of Gerald’s amorous intrigue with Eva Smith does not perturb him. gained victory. knowledge and the ways of the world. . There is a suggestiveness conveyed by Priestley. That way. women are exposed to drudgery. insisting that “there isn’t the slightest reason why my daughter should be dragged into this unpleasant business. many men were killed. Priestley suggest. who disdain Labour. Girls at that time were expected to be innocent. being an excellent ideal. He feels that it is all right in men to philander. Priestley feels that women should be given the right to know “unpleasant and disturbing things” and express their opinions. Yet the truth is veiled. the First World War took place after this. Birling. Capitalists are supposed to be law abiding. in 1914. He feels contempt for Capitalists like Birling. and forces her to marry him. Gerald has committed an indiscretion by seducing Eva and betraying Sheila. Priestley detests pretension that comes with social stability. As a large component of the workforce. socialism.” Priestley is cynical about monetary success under Capitalism. they ought to have the right to defend themselves and give opinions. The truth is beautiful. is against Socialism. Why should we deny the facts? Birling. He views them as mere toys. And women became more significant in the workforce. and expressed this scorn by making Birling a hateable. states that “you must understand that a lot of young men –” have libidinous flings. as we know. but he does not respect Sheila’s resentment of Gerald’s indiscretion.” To him.” Naturally. war occurred. disapproves of his daughter’s knowledge about his covetousness and Gerald’s indiscretion. and Sheila resents this. and the progress in technology aided it. besides. hence it is like a battle between “good and evil. It is as though Priestley is telling the reader that although the capitalists believed otherwise. “Just because the Kaiser makes a speech or two. Birling. Therefore. women are weak.

MRS BIRLING : Well. but with an enthralling plot. it is evident that Priestley conveys his revolutionary opinions and attitudes toward society through this play. Eric : I’m not! Sheila : No. reflect and analyse the differences between then and now. and we can discern Priestley’s wrath and contempt in Arthur Birling. So there’s nothing to be sorry for. [5 marks] (b) How did Inspector Goole’s visit bring about a change in Sheila Birling’s character? [8 marks] (c) Literature helps us understand attitudes and values of society. What have you learnt about the social attitudes and values presented in the play? Support your answer with close reference to the play.Therefore. The characters serve as his puppet-like orators. nothing to learn. why shouldn’t we? Act 3 From the above extract. that’s all. (a) Sheila (passionately) : You’re pretending everything’s just as it was before. There are many opinions expressed in this drama. through subtle means. Birling : Well. influence the reader to think. Sheila : So nothing really happened. state what the younger characters have learned. [12 marks] . but these others are. We can all go on behaving just as we did. isn’t it? We’ve been had.

strong. After a while though. Handicapper General Diana Moon Glampers leads the United States of America and ensures nobody is different from one another by the means of handicapping the gifted citizens. agile and good-looking. Harrison escapes from captivity.the handicaps make him less intelligent and less agile. The family do not mourn the loss of Harrison as they themselves do not register his absence. We are introduced to the dysfunctional Bergeron family where Hazel is not handicapped as she has average intelligence (she is considered stupid in relative to today's world) while her husband George is handicapped. H-G Diana Moon Glampers comes into the picture and shoots him and his "Empress". However. Jr. Themes . both physically and mentally. (Harrison Bergeron came out in SPM 2008. as he is intelligent. who was taken away by the government as he easily resists the handicaps. Vonnegut mocks the idea of 'equality' in this satire.Dysfunctional Family Unit .Power Corrupts . Harrison Bergeron is depicted as Superman.) Synopsis It is year 2081 and everybody is equal. takes control of a television studio and calls himself "Emperor". This story takes place in year 2081 in USA. George and Hazel watch the whole scene on television but still do not seem to register the death of their only son. He has a radio transmitter in his head which stops him from thinking and bags of bird shots to weigh him down .Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut. This couple have a son.Equality / Egalitarianism .

George's home . (12 marks) This time I will give a guideline on how to answer these questions. peculiar.Place . TV Studio. (a) Most of the time. stuffed animals . and. they are still in the boarding house. This is the case for my question.The old. a pub would be more congenial than a boarding-house..Influence of Mass Media Setting .Temple and Mulholland. and lots of people to talk to. The name itself conjured up images of watery cabbage. odd. "clammy" April The Landlady (a) "On the other hand.Character of the landlady . the whole answer is in the text. and a powerful smell of kippers in the living-room. He had never stayed in any boarding-houses. the lack of guests. and it would probably be a good bit cheaper. He had stayed a couple of nights in a pub once before and he had liked it.The 2 men Billy cannot seem to recall . creepy town.The setting . motherly.She seems nice.2081. he was a tiny bit frightened of them. she is prepared for a visitor . There would be beer and darts in the evenings. they were the headlines for some reason etc (c) Evident in the character of the landlady .She seems "off her rocker". too motherly. too. Do you agree? Support your answer with close reference to the text. no umbrellas in the hallway. to be perfectly honest. (8 marks) (c) Looks can be deceiving. kind . rapacious landladies.Time ." Where does Billy Weaver prefer to stay and why? (5 marks) (b) How is suspense aroused in this story? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.USA. (b) Suspense can be aroused in many ways : .

and ultimately. The tea tastes of “bitter almonds’ and he is still innocent to her devious schemes. he is immediately informed that the rent required is “fantastically cheap. which he accepts.” Such material convenience is synonymous with exorbitant charges but he is not suspicious of the fiendish schemes brewing in her mind. . she seems warm and kind with “gentle blue eyes. to pay an even higher price – his life.Looks are deceiving after all (c) How has the reading of The Landlady by Roald Dahl taught you that one must be cautious and not too trusting? Discuss with close reference to the text. is taken in by the landlady. she is trapping gullible Billy . yet Billy suspects nothing. “stared with deep admiration. thus portraying insufficient caution In one instance. her hands.” Upon being informed that she stiffs and preserves her dad pets.. Furthermore.Hence. little does he know that they have met their demise until later. due to his naïveté. overdoing things. Such wonderful treatment is highly suggestive of concealed evil and ulterior motives. Moreover. Billy. Only while they are seated together does he realize that the dachshund and the parrot are deceased.” Her indecorous indiscretion of remarking on the young man’s skin ought to have put him on his guard.Becomes peculiar. his impending death. he notices a “a pretty little dachshund” and a “large parrot”. for his naïveté has. when he rings the bell of the landlady’s house. She is depicted as being affectionate such as calling him an endearment. An evident theme in “The Landlady” by Roald Dahl is that appearances are deceptive. ultimately.” This draws him to her. instead of recoiling. The landlady’s external veneer is attractive. It is ironical that he found the rent reasonable. She wishes to preserve his corpse. Billy. nut he is undeceived upon discovering their preserved state. “dear.” However. Yet the house is surrounded in comfort and luxury with “a pretty little dachshund” and a “plump sofa. proof she is sinister . “Animals were usually a good sign. They looked so homely and indicated a “good sign” initially.” So courteous is she that she has thoughtfully prepared Bill’s room. upon viewing her house. This story teaches me this lesson. Billy senses trouble but puts it aside . enticing him to stay there. but he believes her to be a good woman. the landlady generously prepared tea for him. leads to his ensnarement. yet he is fascinated and thinks little of this. one must be cautious and not too trusting.The animals too . Further abnormal behaviour of the landlady is depicted when she says her previous tenant’s skin was just “like a baby’s.The tea. How could she have discovered that “there wasn’t a blemish” on her victim’s body – unless by malevolent means? Therefore. This may result in his luckless demise.” This compels him to stay there. This innocent attribute in Billy despite all the subtle hints.

. and wait meaninglessly. such as bubblegum. “Moonbeams.” Bubblegum. Instead. sadly. Literally. Furthermore. placing the hat on the railing “to keep it warm” I persiflage as railings are not living organisms and hence cannot feel. unrealistic and unattainable are represented as “Moonbeams” which have similar attributes. in fact. “No trusting hand awaits a falling star” informs us that miracles.” This can be interpreted as certain deeds that may appear to have been done with kind intentions may have been done accidentally or selfishly. It is true that children should be taught reality. the red wooly hat has not been/put on the railing to keep it warm. Another example is lectured as “No. The theme of reality versus illusion is brought out in “The Way Things Are” by Roger McGough through the persona’s lecture to his child. the phrase advises us to face reality and not be too over-possessive. In another perspective (moonbeams being beautiful and unattainable). is ruinous to our hair. represented by a “star” are rarities. Take for instance “Bubblegum does not make the hair soft and shiny. are not necessarily beneficial. Children should be taught to accept defeat. and that they cannot always have everything that they desire. children should be taught this lesson so that they do not thoughtlessly indulge in disastrous pleasure. will not survive in a jar. We should not be preoccupied with dreams or illusions.” Dreams being abstract.The Way THings Are by Roger McGough c) Children should be taught to face reality. Hence. The figurative meaning indicates that things that are pleasurable. the jar symbolizing life or our mind. We cannot subsist on dreams. W cannot expect fortune to descend to us. Do not cling on to the unachievable. Do you agree with this statement? Discuss with close reference to the poem “The Way things Are” by Roger McGough.

children should strive to achieve their goals through dedicated efforts. This message is cleverly conveyed in the woven web of symbolism. he is filled with nostalgia. and for this. Hence. Therefore. is in a dilapidated state of health and he expects that the “branches” will snap “in the dark” indicating her impending demise. he holds her in gratitude. she had consoled him. The “biscuit tins” and “piles of dresses” in addition are “brutal” as they remind him of her sorrowful condition. he describes the pitiful conditions of her lodgings with its “spittoon” and “trestle. Moreover. For example. closeness is depicted between the persona and his amah. The fact that he has immortalized her in verse shows that her condition sufficiently affects him to the extent of expressing his feelings .” He does this with such pity and sympathy that one cannot help but sense his genuine pity for the amah. Furthermore. “For My Old Amah”? The relationship between the persona and his old amah in “For My Old amah” is close. for childlike innocence may result in eventual disappointment and disillusion as a result of ignorance and naïveté. yet his close relationship and responsibility compels him to visit her. She. “Your palm crushed the child’s tears from my face. from what I perceive. he fact that he understands her situation indicates that he has visited her decrepit lodgings. these objects which are associated with her will flood him with past reminiscences about her. She is not related to him. and he feels pangs for her. children should be taught to face reality. When thinking of his past days with her. he portrays a close attachment to his amah. After her eventual death.” In his youth. as well as feelings of sentimental nostalgia. For My Old amah by Wong Phui Nam (b) What perception do you get of the relationship between the persona and his old amah in Wong Phui Nam’s poem. too. Seeing these things as “brutal” for they remind him of her.

“Storm” represents outside forces which threaten Anne’s safety.” USA was more comfortable compared to Europe. Anne’s vulnerability and innocence is symbolised by the “cradle-hood” and “coverlid. starvation. It is . “The roof-levelling wind” is strong. “Flooded stream” represents intense forces caused by people as it has strong forces.) The hill is empty. evilness. she is not awake to the violence around her). Or it may be a hill where his tombstone lies.in a poem. it may represent his death – there is no one to occupy it.” Her ignorance protects her from the uneasy knowledge hence she “sleeps on.” The weather reflects the threatening forces he fears.” Robert Gregory died.and roof-levelling wind.” “And half hid” shows that Anne is barely protected by the frail “coverlid. can be stayed. “cradlehood” represents Anne’s innocence and infancy. “wind” represents turbulent forces. Literary devices: personification – “the storm is howling” represents threatening external forces e. riots. Metonym . gloomy. (The forces may be riots. (Why is the hill bare? Replies are appreciated.an analysis by Claire Wong Stanza 1: The weather is a reflection of Yeats’ feelings. “Ihave walked and prayed for this young child an hour. representing frightening.The author may be mistaken but “Atlantic” may be the United States of America. Turbulent forces or “wind” was less significant and more controlled in the USA.g. Yeats prays because he is gloomy. His father could not protect him from death. Symbols . violence. I have no idea. “coverlid” represents innocence and ignorance.” Tone: Frightening. Roof-levelling wind represents turbulent forces. precarious. A Prayer of My Daughter by WB Yeats . In my mind. “one bare hill” may represent Robert’s death. she is ignorant (she “sleeps on”. Rhyme scheme: aabbcddc Stanza 2: Yeats is worried about Anne. or decay of moral values. As I have said. frail protection. hence she is “under this cradle-hood” which hides her and is unaffected. “great gloom ….” Anne is oblivious to the violent forces around her. The post-war period was dangerous. turbulent forces.) “Under this cradlehood and coverlid/My child sleeps on. Hence it ca be “stayed” or controlled./Bred on the Atlantic. “Where by the haystack.

She does not see or appreciate the values of kindness and virtue. excited. etc. It inspires passion which may be hopeless. they are “murderous. “Dancing to a frenzied drum” also indicates the passing years in Anne’s life which are represented by drum-beats (which have rhythm and tempo) – which also symbolize violence and chaos. because it causes an admirer to be “distraught” and unhappy as a result of this unfulfilled desire to possess this beauty. “Or hers before a looking-glass. They are sought for. and as they are evil. In contrast.) Yeats fears that beauty will make her think that it is sufficient. Anne may think that she needs not perform acts of goodness. The right person would in the end be more drawn to a good woman as shown in stanza 5. anxious. “Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned. he may desire her negatively and steal her innocence.. It is a violent and chaotic time. The drum is “frenzied” because of the danger and chaos around Anne.“flooded” because the troublemakers exist in large numbers or the forces are strong. Furthermore. Another point to make is that beauty that over-entices may decrease Anne’s virtue and increase her vulnerability as others wish to use her. People (possibly represented by “elms”) are affected. a plainer person being on a lower hierarchy will appreciate the importance of . Furthermore. It causes the loss of human touch for the beautiful may tend to boast and despise their inferiors. he decides how she should turn out. Yeats emphasizes the need for feminine innocence.” Anne’s life will pass in chaos.” They cannot love truly and care for veneer and shallow qualities. This is rather desperate and pessimistic but there is a shift of mood. excessive beauty results in jealousy and broken friendships. “May she be granted beauty and yet not/Beauty to make a stranger’s eye distraught. maddening. for her beauty is sufficient to place her in a position of security and acceptance. they do not form true friendships because others befriend them for the benefits derived from their appearance and even take advantage of them. frenetic.” The sea represents the world and the crowds around her. He imagines how her future will be excitedly. THe “elms” are tossed due to the destructive forces. She would think herself superior and strive less without helping others. Beautiful people being more attractive can benefit more. Besides. having many admirers. the “sea” or the world is termed as “murderous innocence” because as part of the “sea”. Hence.” Beauty is distracting and destructive.” Beauty obstructs friendship as being as being beautiful causes one to be condescending. fashion. The beautiful do not pay attention to those who make true friends as they believe themselves superior in beauty. This appeases his worries and gives him new ideas and food for thought. Tone: frenetic. They do not have to be kind and despise the physically undesirable. etc. chaotic.“sea wind” . Anne’s innocence is ‘murderous’ to herself because it enables others to manipulate her. for beauty would help her.the passing years of life Juxtaposition/oxymoron/paradox – “murderous innocence of the sea” Sibilance – “sea-wind scream” Assonance:”sea-wind scream” Onomatopoeia – “scream” Stanza 3: Yeats hopes that Anne will be beautiful but not excessively. and with this attribute. They are not true friends. destructive and take advantage of her innocence. “Imagining …” When Yeats starts to imagine. Tone : intense. She should not be vain and conceited of her beauty. Anne’s innocence is juxtaposed with the contrasting “sea” which is “murderous. for they cannot truly feel or know who “the one” is. malicious and take things for granted. The weather or external forces caused by the war are stormy and destructive. In another perspective. Yeats is excited (hence frenzied) for her to grow up. Literary devices: symbols . they do not choose the right person as they have no heart or soul. he helps his daughter. Furthermore. This is crucial as in this poem. “Imagining…the future years had come/Dancing to a frenzied drum. their beauty allows them to be fastidious in their choice of partners.“future years … dancing” . “Lose … the heart-revealing intimacy/ That chooses right. “flooded stream” – turbulent forces Personification .” Moreover. This causes her to lose “natural kindness”.

She had no father to guide her. Tone: reflective. Tone: imploring. yet are not beautiful. This could be a reference to Yeats’ wife. Tone: cynical. Those who have in stupidity made a fool of themselves by hopelessly loving beautiful women and thought it was reciprocated. . Quote: “Helen being chosen found life flat and dull / And later had much trouble from a fool. tat have played the fool/ For beauty’s very self.attracts and saddens one who is attracted Symbol . Yeats is scornful: cultured women make mad choices in spouses. troubled.” One may not be loved by a beautiful woman. but choose worse. “Whereby the Horn of Plenty is undone. But her kindness makes him glad.” This is because Maud Gonne squandered her gifts of intellect.” He becomes “wise” by realizing the goodness of loveing a good woman. grace and beauty and the benefits she could command by marrying John McBride.” As she was greatly admired and revered for her beauty. beauty is equated with society’s shallowness.” Symbol . Literary devices: personification .” having numerous qualities. “Loved and thought himself beloved/ From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes. Unsuccessful men have loved and are loved by kind women who make them happy. Helen of Troy.“hearts” – love. They can have more. Literary devices: symbol . ‘being fatherless could have her wasy/ Yet chose a bandy-legged smith for man. Love does not come freely and unconditionally. the “crazy salad” is their dreadful mate. The persona praises good unbeautiful women – like Georgie – who re more loved by men compared to harsh beautiful ones – Maud Gonne. grateful.the “stranger” is an unhappy admirer. advisory. who is devoid of many qualities.” She “cannot take his eyes” or maptivate him by sight because she is not physically beautiful. In this context.“stranger’s eye distraught” .kindness. salad is not. Alliteration . “has charm made wise. John McBride is symbolized as an unsubstantial “salad. being the most beautiful woman in the world. a stupid man. “While that great queen. Georgie Hyde Lees who was not beautiful. The possessor of this Horn would be granted his wishes. instead she made the wrong choice or desire. that rose out of the spray. “Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned. scornful. Literary devices: personification .“Helen”.” Maud Gonne wasted her supposed power.“stranger’s eye distraught”.” Venus or Aphrodite. Stanza 4 : Yeats speaks of Greek mythology. As the Horn of Plenty could bring victuals.. Stanza 5: Yeats wants Anne to be courteous. Yeats intends to guide his daughter in the choice of a suitable spouse. advantages. reflective. being fatherless. life was boring with little strife. enlightened.“crazy salad” – an inferior spouse. Georgie loved him and let him take the credit for her work. beseeching. but they had a happy marriage.gifts. she could have done better for herself. married Paris. Meat represents a fine lady who can be said to be “substantial. The Horn of Plenty was a horn given by Zeus to his caretaker.” Love is not inspired by mere physical beauty. prayer-like. “Fine women eat/ A crazy salad with their meat.” Meat is substantial. Yet with all her power and advantages “chose a bandy-legged smith for man” (Hephaestus) – someone inferior to her.“glad kindness cannot take his eys” “charm made wise. it is earned by good efforts “by those who are not entirely beautiful” who are kind and helpful. could marry as she pleased with no parental authority. She could obtain what she desired with these gifts – similar to the Horn of Plenty – and wasted the aforementioned gifts on McBride. “Yet many. sad. “Queen” – a beautiful cultured woman or Maud Gonne “Horn of plenty” . “ “Charm” from a good woman has charmed a man eventually. Metaphor .

Green denotes being young at heart. / And have no business but dispensing around / Their magnanimities of sound.Stanza 6: From here onwards. Eager to protect her virtue. Why green – not red or brown? Russet – reddish-brown – is associated with autumn or middle age and decline.” Here. Yeats does not what his daughter to be dreary and old at soul. Her opinions do not denote one who is young at heart. The word “green” in turn may symbolize peace. Yeats uses mythology. Trees that are green are fresh and alive. Yeats wants Anne to chase and quarrel only in merriment. being “green” . Maud Gonne had consummated a relationship with Lucien Millevoye – with two illegitimate children – and gone on to marry John McBride. soothing and natural. Yeats hopes that his daughter will grow and flourish with virtue and modesty.” She must be “hidden” – not too open and opinionated like Maud Gonne. Refer to Stanza 3.” The home is happy. representing a merry.” This may also indicate loyalty to one man.” The linnet is a bird which flies. “May she become a flourishing hidden tree. For it may indicate evergreenness. “That all her thoughts may like the linnet be. bombastic and violent like Maud Gonne. unlike Maud Gonne. good-natured and natural – not overinfluenced by opinionated ideas. a welcome change. Anne’s youth is not physical but mental. We have already mentioned peace – in her home and innocence. pleasant things. unlike Maud Gonne. Similarly. Yeats wants Anne to be virtuous. Hence Anne is the opposite – green. “Nor but in merriment begin a chase. Maud will fade and has declined due to her non-innocence.” He does not want her to “:chase” ambition ruthlessly. He wants her to talk of good. He wants her to be calm. more symbolism and interesting interpretation can be derived. pleasant thoughts. Daphne turned into a laurel tree./ Nor but in merriment a quarrel. Yeats wants Anne to have a solid home and top be stable. For we say inexperienced people are “green”. “Rooted in one dear perpetual place. The “green laurel” may refer to the nymph Daphne who was pursued by Apollo. A “tree” is fresh. sweet. her mental youth is gone. hence it is “dear. girl – not too serious. “O may she live like some green laurel. russet trees are dying and fading. (Why not a flower – which is a commonly used to symbolize a girl? Possibly a flower is too attractive and open. innocence and youth. Maud declines because she is experienced and deflowered. Yeats wants Anne to be constant to one man. It also means inexperience or innocence – something merry. The “quarrel” indicated is mere arguing for fun. Anne. lively and different.) Yeats wishes that Anne will have merry. he wishes for Anne’s mental youth and innocence and vitality also represented by the colour green. He wants her to be happy and not too ambitious or opinionated. Her father wishes that she will be merry and young at heart. Maud is certainly experienced.

‘ The sort of beauty that I have approved. being determined and clever. This weakens him. will fight for a cause with passion and determination. opinionated and the person knows the reason for this hatred. confidents.“wind” – destructive forces Symbol .“that all her thoughts may like the linnet be” – that Anne’s thoughts will be pleasant and merry. There are good reasons for this cause and hatred. / So let her think opinions are accursed.“linnet” – Anne Symbol – “Leaf” – a fragile place or condition.” The” wind” signifies the destructive forces around Anne and it “cannot tear” Anne – symbolized by a linnet – away form the “leaf” – a fragile place or condition. evergreenness. because the minds that I have loved. Negative thoughts make us suffer. Personification – “Assault and battery of the wind” – destruction. lecture-like. Stanza 7: Yeats states that his mind does not benefit but “has dried up of late” or weakened. / Prosper but little. Tone: Sad. Simile . Metaphor – “Rooted” – constancy and stability Metaphor – “One dear perpetual place” – Anne’s home. Tone: hopeful.“hidden tree” – Anne. has dried up of late. for there is little reason. Yeats does not want Anne to be over-opinionated. he states that hatred is the worst attribute and “of all evil chances evil.” “If there’s no hatred in a mind / Assault and battery of the wind / Can never tear the linnet away from the leaf. tired and not stimulated because of the mind of Maud Gonne (whom “I have loved” and whose beauty he admired) barely prospers. calm and free. He has mentioned her deficiencies.hopefully will retain mental youth with no worse change. “Linnet and “leaf” portray something fragile. Literary devices: symbol . “My mind. prayer-like. “So let her think opinions are .“green laurel” – virtue. Sufferings and destructive forces cannot destroy the fragile who do not hate as their minds are clear.” The hatred of an opinionated intellectual like Maud gonne is the worst because it is strong. stronger. Stanza 8: “An intellectual hatred is the worst. modesty. The intellectual resists opposition and fights for his cause. An intellectual. destructive. inexperience. innocence. more positive. reflective. mental youth. Literary devices: symbol .” However. virtue and modesty Symbol . Trivial hatred is weak.

the “innocence” is “radical” or unconventional because after the war. So males will not overwhelm her (?) If the soul knows itself.” Yeats states that Maud Gonne had plentiful gifts which she did “barter that horn and every good / For an old bellows full of angry wind.“an old bellows full of angry wind” – Strong opinions. and aristocracy. it is peaceful and soothing. grace. quarrels and problems if she is innocent and free of hatred. . no one can harm her. “wind” or destructive forces cannot harm her. hence to be rid of it is to be innocent of these crimes. who started a riot. This makes sense especially with McBride’s loudness and abuse of his wife. though every face should scowl/ And every windy quarter howl/ Or very bellows burst. self-affrighting”.” The horn symbolizes gifts.” Goodness is heaven’s will because the soul is supposed to be good. Metaphor . Goodness makes Anne happy: “its own sweet will is Heaven’s will.accursed. Stanza 9: Yeats states that if hatred is ridded off.” symbolizing gifts and advantages. “and every good / By quiet natures understood” are her advantages which are understood and appreciated by people with quiet natures (Yeats?). cynical. for there is no hatred. Tone: Lecture-like. Hence. / self-appeasing. “Considering that. “Innocence” is radical because it is rooted in the soul. reflective. “That its own sweet will in Heaven’s will.” Hatred causes sin and violence. / She can. though she had courtesy. It delights the soul. It can also represent John McBride. be happy still. The “bellows full of angry wind” depict her strong opinions.” Yeats states that Anne can still be happy amid chaos. The “angry wind” is despicable (McBride). “the soul recovers radical innocence. all hatred driven hence. Maud did not use her gifts properly. unhappiness. “And learns at last that it is self-delighting. innocence became more uncommon. Literary devices: Symbol . In another perspective. as it defies the flow of convention. “She can. Innocence causes these attributes in the soul. / The soul recovers radical innocence”. ceremony. though every face should scowl / And every windy quarter howl / Or every bellows burst. A radical is a term for a root. be happy still. If she is good. yet it is “self-affrighting’ because it is frightening that others can take advantage of one’s innocence. Innocence is beautiful in women.“Plenty’s horn. it is “radical” or something new to be innocent. John John McBride (the abusive husband of Maud Gonne). for the mind is at peace with itself. Perhaps he could be said to be full of hot air or opinions but little successful effort.

” When you plant a tree. Possibly referring to the destructive forces outside.Literary devices: repetition – “self-delighting/ self-appeasing. hence children are born and custom is spread. A laurel tree may be seen as a family tree. Custom is a tradition which is “rooted. traditional husband. prophesizing Stanza 10: Yeats hopes that Anne will marry “and may her bridegroom bring her to a house/Where all’s accustomed. “How but in custom and ceremony/Are innocence and beauty born?” If we take “born” for its literal meaning. grace. lowering herself and being rude.” He wants her to have a good. The home which inculcates custom is the root of the children’s virtues. Yeats brings out his ideal virtues – custom. Perhaps Yeats wants Anne to be well-off and comfortable.it is mentioned that Anne is a laurel.“self-delighting/ self-appeasing. however. lecture-like. custom is represented by a tree. Tone: Hopeful. Yeats wants his daughter to have innocent. it is “spreading” because Yeats wants Anne to spread custom among her family. it allows ceremony. confident . tree. arguments. aristocracy and innocence. Hence. As laurel tree represents custom. fantasizing. as one can find “arrogance and hatred” in the “thoroughfares” as though they re common. Perhaps he wants her to marry into a good. He wants her to live in custom and ceremony. is custom but earlier on . It is demeaning. Note that the term “olive-branches” means offspring. reflective. In that case. it roots. ceremonious. Yeats speaks of marriage./And custom for the spreading laurel tree. advisory. He does not want arrogance and hatred in her home. Couplet: “Ceremony’s a name for the rich horn.” Innocence and beauty and cultivated by custom and ceremony. it is also spreading because Yeats wants Anne to have children – the branches which spread. common crowds “thoroughfares” and would demean herself. making a bigger family – and spread custom throughout the generations. custom is represented by a tree. as it has offerings. May have reference to McBride’s “hot air” or people’s blaring opinions without effect. crude “wares. self-affrighting” Parallelism . Hence. self-affrighting” Metaphors – “every face should scowl” – unhappiness and hostility “bellows burst” – chaos. For it is ceremonious to have good things and offer them. A horn also represents ceremony when one blows it to announce something. ceremony.” The rich Horn of Plenty is positive now. This is particularly apt because in this stanza. Tone: revealing. ceremonious family. beautiful children and these virtues are inculcated through custom and ceremony. The spreading laurel tree. as that happens commonly outside in the vulgar. opinionated.

children.Literary devices: symbol – “thoroughfares” – world and crowd at large and its Commonness “horn” – ceremony “tree” – custom. Anne Yeats. family. .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.