The Lavatory Attendant

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  • Created by: Lina
  • Created on: 06-04-14 06:11
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  • The Lavatory Attendant
    • Stanza 1
      • "Slumped"- emphasised by its position- beginning of the line
        • Character's boredom+ passive nature
        • Ironically, he does no work, even though the poem defines him by the title
      • Imagery
        • Adds to a sense of futility+ bitterness
      • A picture of his unnatural posture+ alienation
        • He hates what he does+ longs to hide/ escape/ do nothing
    • Stanza 2
      • Close up detail+ description
        • Graphic+ unflattering
      • Metaphor
        • Echoes what he does with implications of decay+ decomposition
        • Highlights how he's neglected
      • Wesleydale
        • Poignantly ironic
          • Evocative associations with beautiful countryside+ natural processes of cheese making
      • Abrupt short 2nd line
      • Colour
        • Another sad reminder of the reality he faces
          • Trapped in an unnatural env rather than in the open air
    • Stanza 3
      • Colour
        • Suggests purity- irony
      • Heightened, elevated diction of "sacerdotal"
        • At odds with the poem
          • Means priesthood; a darkly comic contrast with "overalls"
      • "Fonts"
        • Places of baptism+ purity
          • Irony deepens
      • "Guards"
        • Military precision
    • Stanza 4
      • Simile
        • As if each toilet is ugly but wounded
      • Enjambment across the stanza
        • Embodies relentless tedium of his duty
      • Abrupt alliteration
        • Leads to another ironically exotic+ incongruous image
      • "Castanets"
        • Enhanced by the caesura
          • Conjures associations with dance, movement and joy
      • Monotony returns
        • Opening words "All day"
        • The enjambment reflects a weary, joyless routine
    • Stanza 5
      • Ironic imagery
        • Invokes the spectacular+ beautiful "N"
          • Harsh sounds
      • "Canescent"
        • Elevated, unfamiliar
          • Reflects more unexpected associations with a canister for tea
      • Emphatic alliteration
        • Draws our the ordeal of bitterly unrewarding work
    • Stanza 6
      • Imagery
        • Creates pathos
        • Bleak, onset of evening
          • Evokes sensations of the sea
            • Assonance of "tide" and "lino"
              • Contrast between a beautiful, but remote setting+ colloquial "lino" of the lavatory
      • "Thin" + alliteration
        • A bitter reminder of the reality of his life
          • Makes the compound adjective "sand-coloured" ironic
    • Stanza 7
      • Heightened tone
        • Classical allusion to Medusa
          • A terryfing figure from ancient mythology, whose hair was full of writhing snakes
          • But the poem ends with an anti-climax in keeping with the dreary work
      • Literal+ colloquial words
        • Suggest a pent up frustration+ anger+ humble diligence
    • Form
      • Potentially traditional use of couplets: lines why rhyme side by side+ a possibility of a sonnet
      • 2 line stanzas
        • Avoid obvious certainties of rhyme+ established poetic devices
        • Develop ambiguities through free verse
      • Crystallised, abrupt snapshots of utterly mundane+ unglamorous work
        • Transformed through the consistent use of metaphors

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