Compare and Contrast 'Harry Pushed Her' and 'Hector the Collector'

Neither ‘Harry Pushed Her’ nor ‘Hector the Collector’ have any stanzas. In ‘Harry Pushed Her’ the lines are short, most containing around five syllables. The rhyme scheme changes throughout, from every other line rhyming to rhyming couplets. This changes the flow of the poem. I think the writer does this to emphasize points, to shock the reader at times and to change the mood of the poem. “Harry push her, push her now!/Harry push the crazy cow!”, the flow of this emulates the mocking tone of children.

‘Hector the Collector’ has a mixture of long and short lines, ranging from six syllables to ten syllables. It has a regular rhyme scheme in quatrains, this creates a steady course and speed throughout.

Both poems are focused on people who are not always correctly understood, they are seen as ‘different’ by many. People don’t have the same outlook as they do and therefore they are cast aside. In ‘Harry Pushed Her’ our first impressions are that Harry bullies his sister.

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We think this because the poem reads, “Harry pushed her;/He pushed his sister;” the reader automatically comes to the conclusion that Harry pushes her in a violent way. The repetition of the word “push” is very effective as it implies to the reader that Harry is an incessant bully. We don’t know or even suspect, until the last line that he’s pushing his sister in a helpful way.

We don’t anticipate this, it comes as a shock to the reader.

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We think of young boys as bullies, and we count on them to push their sisters violently because of the stereotypical images we have. The author cleverly shows us how we prejudge him unfairly. In ‘Hector the Collector’ the poet also uses repetition to good effect as he creates an excessive list of useless items. This creates the impression of Hector as an eccentric character. It tells us that he “Loved these things with all his soul/more than glistening diamonds/more than glistenin’ gold” creating an image for the reader of Hector as a lonely man who only has his possessions as company.

I think that in both poems the people that are seen as different have different reasons for being outcasts. In ‘Harry Pushed Her’ I think Harry gets some sort of escapism from pushing his sister in her wheelchair, “Harry pushed her without a care”. This lifestyle protects him from the pressures of other children his own age. He traps himself in his own little world where he feels safe and peaceful. While in ‘Hector the Collector’ Hector enjoys his items and has a different perspective of them to others. He thinks of these things as a, “treasure trunk” and offers others to share the delights he gets out of them, while others dismiss it as junk.

The speaker calls the people “silly” and “sightless” telling the reader that the people are small minded and foolish because they can’t look any further than face value. I think that Hector sees that although they are useless, they were once useful and he feels they don’t deserve to be thrown away. I think this is a metaphor of today’s society, as we live in a disposable society and Hector is trying to escape from it. The poems also contrast slightly. Harry pushes people away he wants to be a ‘loner’. He rejects others, rather than them rejecting him. He is not understood and doesn’t need to be. Hector on the other hand invites people to be his friends, to share his belongings, but they reject him.

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Compare and Contrast 'Harry Pushed Her' and 'Hector the Collector'. (2017, Sep 19). Retrieved from

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