Year 11 Born Yesterday lesson resource

Born Yesterday

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6 Responses to Year 11 Born Yesterday lesson resource

  1. such.poem.much.wow. says:

    which example exam question are we supposed to be answering for homework?

  2. ... says:

    The speaker of “Born Yesterday” uses symbolism in a variety of ways. Larkin creates symbolism in the form of imagery. “Tightly folded bud” is a metaphor that relates to nature. This refers to a flower that is yet to blossom which symbolises the purity and innocence of the unborn child. A flower that hasn’t blossomed leaves mystery to what beauty it potentially holds. That is if the flower holds beauty; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The flower could be “beautiful”, “ordinary” or “dull” as Larkin suggests three possibilities throughout the poem. This could symbolise how society narrows the population into three categories just like a food chain. Surely each word can contradict each other? Surely each word has a specific meaning to each individual? However, at the end of the poem he says “catching of happiness”. I think this symbolises as long as you’re happy being yourself no matter if you are “beautiful”, “ordinary” or “dull” there is no shame in being the person you want to be.

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      This is hot off the press! A really confident and engaging interpretation. I love the idea of the bud imagery (which is a little cliche) perhaps representing an unknown beauty that is yet to be beholden by a subjective gaze. Well done.

  3. qwerty says:

    In ‘Born Yesterday’ the writer uses a variety of devices to represent symbolism throughout the story. Larkin uses colloquialism when saying ‘Not the usual stuff’. By using the noun ‘stuff’ it demeans what the writer would see as ‘normal’ as he goes on to explain in the first stanza as ‘beautiful’ and being full of ‘innocence’ and ‘love’. Larkin also represents symbolism through naturistic imagery. He directs the poem to Sally Amis, to whom he refers to in the first line of the first stanza as a ‘Tightly-folded bud’. This metaphor shows irony, as flowers are usually seen as a symbol of beauty, which throughout the poem he describes as being ‘uncustomary’. This metaphor could also symbolise the vulnerability and innocence of the child, referring to her as a ‘Tightly-folded bud’, and show that she is flowering or blossoming and he wishes to guide and advise her as she grows.
    Throughout this poem, we grasp the understanding that Larkin is critical of societies obsession with beauty and superlative qualities, which can take away from his main point; happiness.

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      Maybe start with a topic sentence linking symbolism to the nature imagery and the idea of a blossoming child – will give your otherwise excellent answer a clear direction.

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