Aunt Julia (Stanza One and Two) - Norman MacCaig

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  • aunt julia - stanza one and two
    • 'I could not answer her - I could not understand her'
      • establishes a key theme of communication barriers
      • repetition of 'could not' reinforces the idea of the barrier
      • affectionate tone, shows that a strong bond can be formed regardless of languages
    • 'very loud and very fast'
      • description of  a vivid character
      • memories of the poets aunty
    • 'she wore men's boots when she wore any'
      • tells us that she was often barefooted
      • her work was physically demanding because she had to wear sturdy men's boots
    • 'stained with peat'
      • implies that she is one with nature
      • her foot isn't just covered in peat, it is stained in it. tells us that she's not afraid of getting messy
    • 'paddling with the treadle of the spinningwheel'
      • length of the line mimics the length of the task
      • shows us that Julia could do feminine tasks as well as masculine tasks
      • creates a sense of movement which the poet associates with his aunt
    • 'her right hand drew yarn marvellously out of the air'
      • conveys illusion about the task
      • the young poet would watch his aunt in awe every time this happened


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