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The poem ‘Hide and Seek’ was written by Vernon Scannel and is about a child playing hide and seek with his friends. The main theme of this poem is isolation. There are a few subthemes as well, such as difficulties in life, competition and abandonment. The poet uses a vast amount of literary devices, like similes, metaphors and personification, and writes the pOverviewoem as an extended metaphor for life. He also uses a variety of punctuation which helps build up tension throughout the poem.
I will be discussing the effect the poet Scannel creates by using these devices in the next few paragraphs. Vernon Scannel’s poem has two meanings. The obvious one is about a child playing hide and seek and then realising that his friends have left him, showing abandonment. But the deeper meaning of this poem is that the poet is actually describing what happens in life. As he shows the child starting out with full confidence at the beginning of the game, he means to say that when someone starts off a new life they are confident and strong (‘I’m ready! Come and find me! ‘).
The exclamation marks show the child is full of energy and assurance that he cannot lose the game and if we go deeper we can see that someone who starts a new life will have the same attitude. There are difficulties, of course, like the cold floor and the ‘salty dark’. This metaphor gives the effect of some place harsh and uncomfortable, in a real life situation this would be any obstacle that is come across.
The child though, takes it all in and stays silent about it because he knows this is what he has to do to win.
What in real life would be accepting any difficult challenge and accomplishing it, to get ahead in life. Scannel even presents one of the greatest fears in life – isolation, in the phrase, “But where are they who sought you? ” This shows how the hiding child gets abandoned by his friends after they could not find him. Rather than let him win, they gave up and left him alone. Vernon is trying to advise the audience that when in life you face a difficult situation when you are lonely, you have to fend for yourself.
Who knows when your friends can leave you? No one will care enough or only you can be trusted to take care of yourself. One last thing Scannel wanted his audience to follow was to grab every opportunity in life, rather than wait too long and have them go away. In the poem when the child waits too long to uncover himself he was too late because his friends had already gone. If he would have done sooner, he might have won the game. In the same way, if you wait too long to grab an opportunity, you just might miss it out altogether.
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