In this poem, the speaker is joined by a man on a bus on Good Friday, the Christian holiday which marks the day when Jesus was crucified on the cross. The stranger engages him in a conversation.
What does this poem have in common with “Trio” and “In the Snack Bar”?
All three deal with Christian holidays
All three deal with social deprivation
All three deal with a chance encounter
Whose voice is mostly heard in this poem?
The man who sits beside the poet on the bus
The bus driver
What is the impact and effect of the dashes used throughout the poem?
They create pauses to imitate the slightly disjointed nature of the speaker’s train of thought
They allow the reader to reflect on the ideas presented by the speaker
They show how angry the speaker is
Where is the man going to on the bus?
To church because it is a religious holiday
To buy Easter Eggs for his children
What reason does the man give for drinking?
He has just been promoted at work
He likes to celebrate when he isn’t working
He has just lost his job
Why might he feel guilty for drinking on this particular day?
Because Good Friday is a day when Catholics are encouraged to abstain from drinking alcohol
Because his wife might not let him see his children if she knows he has been drinking
Because he has got to go back to work later that day
What does the man think about the ordinary working classes?
That they are the backbone of the country
That they are being exploited
That they are poorly educated
Why do you think the poet writes in a Glaswegian dialect throughout?
To show difference between the working class and the middle class
To allow the reader to “hear” the real voice of the man
To show how poorly educated the man is
What does the day Good Friday represent in the Christian calendar?
The day Christ was crucified
The day Christ rose from the dead
The day Christ was born
Which of these statements best describes the language of the poem?
Formal and rich in imagery
Informal and colloquial
Pompous and elegiac