The Choosing Essay by Liz Lochead

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The Choosing Essay
Marianne Lavery

The poem “The Choosing” by Liz Lochead deals with problems of growing up and the issue of education through the two central characters, Mary and Liz.

This poem is about two young girls called Mary and Liz who grew up together living an ordinary life. They were both intelligent and ambitious. They were best friends for years at primary school until they had the chance to go to secondary school and they went their separate ways to start their new lives. Later on in the poem they meet very unexpectedly on a bus years later. This really does show the reader just how much the two girls have change from primary school.

In stanzas 1, 2 and 3 the poet Liz Lochead has emphasized the similarities between the two girls by describing their appearances. They both had the same “mouse-coloured” hair which suggests they are ordinary. Also they were polite, smart and proud. The poet has used repetition by saying how “equally proud” they are. This emphasizes the similar attitude the girls had towards their education. Alliteration has also been used. “Collins’ Children’s Classics”.

Stanza 4, describes how their lives took different paths. Mary moved because of cheaper rent somewhere else and Liz stayed where she was, in her hometown where she grew up. Mary’s father had a very bad attitude towards girls’ education and he is also sexist. “He didn’t believe in high school education especially for girls or in forking out for uniforms”. Marys family had also financial difficulties according to the poet. The final three stanzas shows that ten years have passed since the two girls went their separate ways but they find their selves sitting in the same bus as each other. However this time as they meet, Mary does not recognise Liz. Mary is sitting next to her husband “who is tall, curly haired and has eyes only for Mary”.
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