Last Lesson of the Afternoon
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Last Lesson of the Afternoon- D.H Lawrence

1a. What are the persona's feelings described in the first three stanzas of this poem? Explain how the poet described these feelings through the use of alliteration, metaphor and pun.

The persona was angry as described by the literacy devices. In the first line, the word used was " weariness", it described that the lesson has been wearing down himself/herself and she yearn for it to end. Though it is not a literacy device, it still manage to describe the persona's feelings.

In the third line, metaphor was used, " My pack of unruly hounds" were referring to his class of students who were unruly, this device showed us how the teacher see his lesson and students as. On the third line, " Them again on a quarry of knowledge they hate to hunt."
The word quarry is a pun, referring to both 'prey' and 'the vastness of knowledge'. This showed what the teacher thinks about his students' attitude in learning and seeking of knowledge.
In the fifth line " I can haul them and urge them no more.", this showed that the teacher can no longer push them to learn nor urge while 'hual' is a metaphor. In the first line of the 2nd stanza, 'brunt' was used, a metaphor that depicts the teacher not being able to endure teaching his students.

On the forth line was the word 'sick', the teacher was sick and unable to carry on and he didn't see any good teaching the students and resulting himself being sick. In the third stanza , 2nd line, " My last fuel of life to heap on my soul" describes that the teacher only had a fuel of life left which refers to his energy after teacher the troublesome class of students.

In the last two lines of the third stanza, " Their dross of indifference; and take the toll. Of their insults in punishment? -I will not!- " The pun used was 'Toll' toll refer to the hardship and also the tax civilians had to pay, in this case, the teacher wanted to show that he shall no take the hardship nor pay the tax of their insults. All of it sum up to show that the teacher was angry.

1b. How is the tone of anger in this poem illustrated?

The tone of anger was illustrated mainly by the description of the students' impression to the teacher and the teachers' desires. "My pack of unruly hounds! I cannot start!" This show that the teacher thought about the students as unruly hounds and hence he could not teach. He was also angry that the students were unruly.

Puns and metaphors were also used to illustrate the tone of anger. For example, " Them again on a quarry of knowledge they hate to hunt, I can haul them and urge them no more." 'Hunt' and ' Haul' were the metaphors used, it showed that the students did not want to seek for knowledge and the hence the teacher can no longer push nor urge them anymore. The complain the teacher made illustrated the tone of anger of the poem.
The poet also wrote " I am sick, and what on earth is the good of it all?" ' Sick' is used as a metaphor to show that the teacher is tired and weak from teaching the students with a tinge of anger felt. Thirdly, " last dear fuel of life' also emphasizes on how weak the teacher had deteriorate to after teaching his unruly students. Due to his students' attitude towards learning and their behavior, the teacher became angry with them, for example, " Their dross of indifference; and take the toll. Of their insults in punishment? - I will not!- " The teacher did not want to take their insults and was angry and complaining about their attitude.

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