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"The Choosing" by Liz Lochhead is a poem which provides a really typical scenario and makes you think about deeper problems. The content illustrates 2 girls who unintentionally choose in school, unaware of repercussions, and, due to the fact that of them, wind up drifting off their separate ways since of such options, and the options produced them by their households. Both girls were clever, however only one was permitted to remain on at school. Their courses cross 10 years later on, their lives absolutely different.
Verse one explains the two women, who were best good friends and intellectual equals: "First equivalent, equally proud". "Equal" is mentioned twice in the very first paragraph, to show that the 2 girls were equal in every way, except arithmetic, where Mary led. They both won book prizes.
In the 2nd verse we find out that Mary's household have actually ultimately moved to a home with a more affordable lease. Mary would not be going to a senior school, as her father did not "think" in informing women, uniforms, or any of that "rubbish".
In the third verse we find out the two women remained in the "exact same homes, various houses", recommending that they resided in the same type of home but their home lives were significantly various. Home was where the options were being made: Mary's dad didn't think in High school education, "specifically for women," or in "handing over for uniforms". So her father automatically, even delicately, narrowed Mary's future life down.
Some 10 years later the 2 ladies reunite.
The individual speaking unexpectedly notices Mary on a bus with a guy who is plainly her partner; he has "eyes for no-one else but Mary" The poet envies her a little, as she carries her library books home, as Mary has "her arms round the full shaped vase that is her body", a metaphor for pregnancy. The poet declares not to be jealous of Mary but there's definitely a trace of it there. The last verse of the poem informs us that Mary's life has altered drastically and she wonders when they made the choices that have actually triggered their lives to develop so in a different way.
She questions, "When the options were made we don't keep in mind making". They do not remember them due to the fact that it was their household that made the majority of those crucial choices for them, as their parents had different go for them. The 2 women, obviously, had significantly various lives after these choices were made.
I think this poem is very instructive because it informs young people of the choices that have been made which affect the cause of their lives totally as they mature. Many intriguing questions are suggested by this poem: how far do choices which are made by us, or our families for us, (consciously or unconsciously) in the course of our lives, at different stages, affect what we achieve or become? Obviously Liz Lochhead would say, "Lots!"
Here we have two girls who, from the point of view of ability and attitude, even physically, are roughly similar. They start off achieving similar results (apart from arithmetic) and tackle their work similarly. The competitive aspect to it all helps. Yet the writer clearly thinks background/environment/ family values and encouragement are equally, or even more, important. Their lives change - why? It's clearly to do with upbringing: Liz gets all the encouragement she needs - education is valuable; she is encouraged to achieve, to pass, to study, to qualify. Mary has a dad who thinks it's a waste of time - uniforms and all that - especially for girls, so she falls by the educational wayside. It's the old argument: which is more influential? Genes or environment?
For all that, at the end, Liz has a moment of doubt. It's another hoary old question, especially for women: the choice between career and family. Liz has achieved, or is on the road to achieving, most of her educational goals, the ones she chose, or had chosen for her when she was young; Mary is establishing a family and seems blissfully happy, even though she fell out of the educational race years before. Who is happier? And, does a choice between the two have to be made?
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