11EG ± µIn the Waiting Room¶ Exemplar paragraphs Describe at least ONE idea that you thought was

important in EACH text. Explain how the writer showed you the idea was important in EACH text Achieved In the poem µIn the Waiting Room´ by Elizabeth Bishop, the theme of identity is shown through the feelings of confusion felt by the girl. Throughout most of the poem, the girl is confused by an epiphany she is having. She becomes more adult during the poem and this change confuses her. She realises that she is not just what she wants to be, but that she is also shaped by influences around her. ³But I felt: you are an I, / you are an Elizabeth, / you are one of them´. This shows that she is not just herself but also what people think about her and also what society wants her to be. ³What similarities /«held us all together / or made us all just one?´ is a question that she asks which shows that she is confused by what she has realised. I think the poet wants us to think about who we are and our identities. She is trying to get across the idea about how our identities can be influenced by lots of things, not just our decisions and that this can be a confusing. Merit Elizabeth Bishop demonstrates the concept of growing up in many ways throughout the text µIn the Waiting Room¶. The first aspect of growing up can be seen in the way the speakers sees the people around her. She talks about them as ³artics and overcoats / lamps and magazines´. This shows that she is young and naïve because she is focusing only on details about what people look like rather than their personalities. This shows us that she is innocent. However, this changes when we get to see one of the difficulties of growing up. The author shows us that the speaker is struggling to deal with a change in her identity. The speaker says, ³Why should I be my aunt, or me, or anyone?´ This shows that the speaker is having trouble dealing with the fact that her identity isn¶t what it used to be. She is realising that she isn¶t totally in control of her identity because she is partly defined by her family and also by other things like her gender. This shows that growing up can be a confusing process. This idea was important because it made me think about the changes people go through when they grow up and some of the difficulties they have. Excellence In µIn the Waiting Room¶, metaphors were used to represent the impact of new knowledge on the speaker. Bishop successfully explores both the explosive feeling of discovering new knowledge and the weight of the understanding that comes with it. This is important because it supports her overall idea that new knowledge is both liberating and frightening. In the first stanza her speaker observes a page in a National Geographic magazine, describing a volcano as ³black, and full of ashes; / then it was spilling over / in rivulets of fire.´ This image becomes a metaphor for the epiphany the speaker makes about her identity later in the poem. The image of a volcano represents it well because it reflects the suddenness and violence of new discoveries. Later though, Bishop explores the weight of that understanding when her speaker says ³I was saying it to stop / the sensation of falling off / the round, turning world, / into cold, blue-black space´. This metaphor expresses the confusion that results after the moment of epiphany. The image suggests falling, a panic inducing feeling, which powerfully expresses the feeling of new understanding ± the speaker sees the world differently now and the poet is suggesting that this is potentially disorientating and frightening. By making use of metaphor Bishop helps her reader to think about not only liberation that comes with new knowledge, but also the at times painful consequences that can come with understanding the realities of the world around us.

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