Your response will be structured as an essay and you should plan this before you start writing. In your essay, you must write about features of both of the poems as well as making comparisons between them. Throughout your essay, you must use short quotations from both of the poems and focus on analysing the effects of both the quotations and the poems as a whole. For a C grade, you are expected to be able to make specific links between the poems that are related to language, imagery, form or structure, not just what the poems are about; you are also required to make comments about how the writers create effects.
For foundation tier, you should write about the poems individually and then make comparisons between them.
Names uses stanzas of different lengths that show that the woman had different stages of her life. The poem has some long stanzas and some short stanzas so these are when her life is hard and when her life is easy. The good parts of her life go quickly and the bad parts go slowly.
Names uses stanzas of different lengths to reflect the different stages of the woman’s life, changing the atmosphere of the poem at different points:
And then ‘my love’, ‘my darling’, Mother. This is from a short stanza of two lines that you read very quickly, which suggests that this part of the woman’s life went by very fast, possibly because she enjoyed it as the names she is called, such as
my love suggest close relationships first with her husband and then with her children as she is called
Mother. This creates a happy atmosphere as it gives the impression that she would have been happy and loved at this time. This contrasts with the last stanza of the poem when she is very old, which is longer so it is slower to read, showing that her life passed slowly at this point.
Names and In Oak Terrace are similar because both are about it being hard to be old. In Names the woman ends up going to hospital, which is not a nice place to be and in In Oak Terrace the woman in the poem lives on her own so she is lonely. This shows that both of the poets think that getting old can be difficult for different reasons.
Names and In Oak Terrace are similar because both are about it being hard to be old. For example, in Names the end of the woman’s life is described as
those last bewildered weeks and in In Oak Terrace the woman is described as being
old and alone. Both of these descriptions are negative because
bewildered shows that the woman in Names is confused and therefore old age has made her lose her mental capacity, while
alone in In Oak Terrace suggests that the character is isolated and suffers from loneliness due to her age because it is next to the word
old. Although these are different emotions, they both show that the women in the poems are unhappy so both poems want us to think about how hard it can be to be old.