Best Words post 1914: Long distance

just some notes. there not very good but better than nothing

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  • Created on: 22-05-11 17:46
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Long Distance
4 even stanzas with regular alternate rhyme. This suggests that although his
mother was dead, his Dad still continues with the usual routines as if she is alive.
The rhyming pattern changes for the last stanza so that it is a b b a, which
implies that Harrison is copying his father's way of coping with grief.
Meaning/ Message
How he, like his dad, has understood why it was so difficult for his dad to cope
with the grief and pain.
Imagery/language and effect
In the first stanza, Harrison clearly states that his mother `was already two
years dead'. This portrays the long time his father has had to adapt to his change
in life.
Harrison uses `Dad'. This colloquial term suggests a homely feel, and may imply
the domestic and working class life of Harrison.
Nouns such as `gas' and `hot water bottle' are used, which implies the warmth and
love his father felt towards his mother.
The first stanza is all one sentence by the use of enjambment. This use of
enjambment may suggest the long time it has been since his mother's death.
However, the second stanza begins with two short sentences. This is as if the
regular pattern to his father's lifestyle is broken by the intrusion of someone
else. The phrase `look alone' implies that his father felt shameful that he was still
living as if his wife was still alive, and so he tries to hide it from his son.
The love his father felt is described as `still raw'. The adjective `raw' suggests
the immediacy. It also suggests the pain he feels. The noun `crime' implies that he
feels guilty, and does not want to show these actions to his son.
In the third stanza, the lock is `rusted'. This implies that it is an old lock. It may
be that his father did not want to change the lock because he believed that she
would return home. The word `knew' in italics implies that he was insistent on
believing that she had `popped out'. The use of colloquial language may reflect the
ordinariness of his actions and thoughts if she was not dead.
The last stanza seems like a gentle reflection. He says that he `believe(s) life
ends with death', which suggests that he is clear that his parents are dead. This
may have been what he believed when his father was alive, and want other people
to think he believes this. However, he `still call(s)' the `disconnected number',
implying that he has adopted the way his father dealt with grief.

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He gets a `new' phone book deliberately as if to completely forget his parents,
but he still writes in their telephone number.
The title `Long Distance' is referring to the `disconnected number' he still calls. It
is as if he is trying to make a long distance phone call into heaven.…read more


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