Comparative Commentary Text 1 Those Winter Sundays, Text 2 The Boat Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 13 November 2017

Comparative Commentary Text 1 Those Winter Sundays, Text 2 The Boat

Text 1 and Text 2, both have the common theme of fathers. Text 1 is a poem titled “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden, while Text 2 is an extract of the short story “The Boat” by Alistair Macloed. The purpose of Hayden is to tell the story and to tell younger people to appreciate their father; on the other hand Alistair MacLoed’s purpose was to entertain the audience.

The common theme are the fathers, both texts narrate the story and the relationship between a father and a son. Both texts show how they treated their fathers in a careless way but then realized they shouldn’t have. In text 1 he realizes too late, and he can’t do anything to change it, however in text 2 the character realizes just on time and starts loving his father and appreciating what he does. There are several other similarities and differences like the fact that both fathers do hard work and they probably belong to the working class or even to the poorer class.

This can be seen as in text 1 the father had hands that “ached from labour in the weekday”; in text 2 the father is a “fisherman”. Both fathers dedicate lots of their time and effort to their families, in text 1 the father wakes up really early so he can warm the room for his children to wake up into a comfortable room while in text 2 the father sacrificed his “dreams and inclinations” and lived a life doing what he really did not want for the benefit of the family. Similarities are also found in the tone.

The tone in both texts is regretful. In text 1 the regretful tone is suggested through the description of the father, “Cracked hands that ached” as this increases our empathy towards the father, furthermore in text 2 the regretful tone is suggested through the description of the father’s action as “he burned and reburned over and over again”. This is also to increase empathy. Increasing the empathy helps us connect more to the author and be able to understand his regret. Another way through which regret is portrayed in text 1 is thought Robert Hayden’s last lines, with the rhetorical question at the end “What did I know,” This quote shows how Hayden has now realized how much effort his father had put into the family, this also shows how Hayden feels that it is too late to do something now that he has realized. In text 2 the tone of regret is portrayed not only through the description of the father but also through how the short story develops.

The structure of text 1 is very different to text 2, first of all the fact that text 1 is a poem and text 2 a short story. As it was already mentioned, the regretful tone in text 2 is transmitted through the development of the story; the story is structured in paragraphs. The structure of the short story is very important as it starts by setting the scene as it describes the “good summer”. In the second paragraph Alistair MacLoed describes the father and how he suffers and keeps on working, “his lips still cracked so that they bled when he smiled”, this starts creating a tone of guilt as the character saw his dad suffer and did nothing. In the third paragraph we notice some transformation as he starts to realize the hard work his father does but it’s in the last paragraph is where we see the biggest change as he changes his attitude and starts loving his father. Structure is also very important in text1, the poem. It is a short poem that contains 3 stanzas.

There is no rhyme in the poem as rhyme introduces a happy, joyful connotation; Robert Hayden decided not to include rhyme as this poem corresponds to a melancholic and sad relationship between father and son. When it comes to sentence lengths, text 1 contains 5 sentences, they are very different in sentence length as we have a very short one, “No one ever thanked him.” and really long ones as the 4th sentence, which takes up 6 lines. The poem isn’t structured as a poem but as a narrative, if the same text would not be in stanzas it would be a narrative. However in Text 2, as the text is structured in paragraphs, we can see how the sentences change depending on which paragraph they are in. For example, in paragraph 2, the one that tells us the dad’s sacrifices the sentences are long and the use lots of “and”, this gives a sense of continuous and a sense of repetition, which makes you feel the father’s pain. It is a very effective sentence as it increases the empathy.

Both texts have similarities and differences regarding language. Text 1 ends with a rhetorical question, this rhetorical question increases the regret already portrayed in the poem and the feeling of guilt as it is already too late to change anything and previously he hadn’t noticed his father’s effort. The diction through out the poem is quite simple, as the poem is directed to young people. Robert Hayden used imagery to create empathy towards the father as he is described as waking up in the “blueblack cold” and his “cracked hands that ached”. The use of the words “chronic angers” suggest tension in the family and opens the possibility of a long lasting fight happening inside the house, “speaking indifferently to him” also adds into the suggestion of tension in the house and the use of the word “indifferently” creates guilt as he treated his dad in an indifferent way.

Furthermore Alistair MacLoed, the author of text 2 uses common diction through out the short story, the diction in both texts is very similar. MacLoed uses several times the word “and” there are several purposes for the use of the word “and”, at the beginning, when describing the father’s effort the word “and” is used for repetition as it increases the effect of empathy in the sentence. Later on in the story the word “and” is used to link ideas and to establish a good relationship between father and son as the text reads with a happier but still regretful tone.

In conclusion both texts have clear similarities and differences as they both shared the topic of fathers and their relationship with their sons, though they have different purposes and therefore differences.

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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 13 November 2017

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