Exploring Non-Conformity: "Harry Pushed Her" and "Hector the Collector"

Categories: Compare And Contrast


Embarking on an extensive analysis, we delve into the intricate details of two captivating poems, "Harry Pushed Her" and "Hector the Collector." These works, each unique in its own right, share a common thread of challenging societal perceptions and unraveling unexpected layers beneath the surface. As we explore their thematic elements, structures, and artistic nuances, a deeper understanding of human nature and societal judgments will unfold.

Analysis of "Harry Pushed Her"

The canvas of "Harry Pushed Her" unfolds with short lines, showcasing a fluctuating rhyme scheme that adds a dynamic rhythm to the poem.

Initially, readers are led down the path of presumption, interpreting Harry's actions as those of a typical bully. The repetition of the word "push" serves as a deliberate device, creating an expectation of incessant aggression.

However, the beauty of this poem lies in its ability to subvert expectations. In the final lines, a surprising revelation awaits the reader. Rather than pushing his sister in a harmful manner, Harry is, in fact, providing an act of assistance by pushing her in a wheelchair.

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This unexpected twist challenges the reader's preconceived notions, highlighting the danger of unfair judgments based on societal stereotypes.

As we dissect the layers of "Harry Pushed Her," a profound realization emerges. Harry, seemingly isolated in his actions, is, in fact, carving out a space of escapism for himself. The repetitive act becomes a shield against the pressures of conformity, immersing him in a world where societal norms hold no sway. It is a poignant exploration of an individual's need for protection and peace in a world quick to pass judgment.

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Analysis of "Hector the Collector"

"Hector the Collector" presents a contrasting yet equally captivating landscape. The poem employs a mix of long and short lines, elegantly woven into a regular rhyme scheme within quatrains. This structured approach imparts a steady course and pace, providing a counterpoint to the dynamic nature of "Harry Pushed Her."

The poet, in "Hector the Collector," introduces an extensive list of seemingly useless items, effectively portraying Hector as an eccentric character deeply attached to his possessions. Through repetition, the poet accentuates Hector's loneliness, as he cherishes these items more than diamonds or gold. The possessions become Hector's companions, offering solace in a world that might otherwise dismiss him.

The poem becomes a lens through which we examine societal attitudes toward those who dare to be different. Hector's love for his possessions is profound, akin to a treasure trove that others fail to appreciate. It prompts contemplation on society's inclination to discard what it deems unconventional, casting a critical eye on the disposable nature of contemporary culture.

Comparison of Themes in Both Poems

The thematic resonance in "Harry Pushed Her" and "Hector the Collector" becomes apparent as we navigate through the verses. Both poems intricately weave narratives around individuals perceived as "different" by societal standards. These characters, Harry and Hector, stand as symbols of resilience against conformity, inviting readers to reevaluate their initial judgments.

"Harry Pushed Her" sheds light on Harry's unique form of escapism, where an outwardly aggressive act becomes a protective cocoon against societal pressures. In contrast, "Hector the Collector" illuminates Hector's genuine affection for seemingly useless items, questioning the societal dismissal of what he considers treasures. The speaker's choice of descriptors like "silly" and "sightless" challenges readers to introspect on their own prejudices.

Contrast Between the Poems

While both poems share a common theme of societal non-conformity, they diverge in how the characters navigate their perceived differences. "Harry Pushed Her" portrays Harry as a self-imposed loner, rejecting others and embracing solitude as a shield. The poem challenges readers to consider whether rejection can be a form of self-preservation.

On the other hand, "Hector the Collector" presents Hector as an individual who extends an invitation to others. He willingly offers to share his belongings, yet faces rejection from a society unwilling to appreciate the value he sees in unconventional items. The contrast prompts contemplation on societal tendencies to reject what it cannot understand.


In this comprehensive exploration of "Harry Pushed Her" and "Hector the Collector," the richness of human experiences and societal judgments comes to the forefront. Each poem serves as a poignant reflection on the consequences of prejudgment and the resilience of individuals deemed "different." The unexpected twists, thematic depth, and artistic nuances woven into these verses invite readers to reassess their perspectives and approach diversity with newfound understanding.

Updated: Jan 02, 2024
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Exploring Non-Conformity: "Harry Pushed Her" and "Hector the Collector". (2017, Sep 19). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/compare-and-contrast-harry-pushed-her-and-hector-the-collector-essay

Exploring Non-Conformity: "Harry Pushed Her" and "Hector the Collector" essay
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