Pun – explain both meanings
1) What evidence is there in the first stanza of Harry Wood’s struggle for survival? Harry Wood’s struggle for survival is clearly revealed in the first stanza through the use of the pun “digging his way out of poverty” as he literally worked hard in the “mines” and metaphorically worked extremely hard to earn money to climb the social hierarchy from the bottom of social class “mines” to a reasonable position “foreman’s place”
2) What does the second stanza reveal about Harry Wood’s character? The anecdote in stanza two reveals the extent of Harry Wood’s personality. The fact that he was fighting with the “union..for weeks” after he “fired a man for fooling with ropes” reveals that he is pitted against men and does not have time for fooling around, that he has not spirit, no joy. This highlights his stoic nature, his loneliness and isolation, as the further people climb the social hierarchy the more isolated they become. “ air” Hyperbole of suffocating loneliness of his life
3) What words show the defeat of the miners?
“they sank/ back to the sleek coal caves” showcases the defeat of the miners as highlighted through the use of sibilance of “sank” and “sleek” – connotations – smoothing - and the alliteration of “coal” and “caves”. The expressive noun “Sank” highlights their defeat, whilst “sleek” reveals to the responder of Harry Wood’s determined nature as he aims to have everything perfect, and not have a hair out of line in order to climb the social hierarchy.
4) The shovels rattled in the earth. Comment on the effectiveness of the world rattled.
The onomatopoeia “rattled” of the “shovels” in “The shovels rattled in the earth”. For instance, the adjective “rattled” sets up an image in the responder’s mind of Harry being trapped underground, however through the rattling of the shovels finding his way out. This shows Harry’s endurance and stamina, as well as his ambitious nature, as he...
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