The Clown Punk Vs. The Hunchback In The Park

Some aspects of SILVER used for analysis.

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Compare the ways that characters are presented in `The Hunchback in the Park' and one other
poem from `Characters and Voices' anthology.
Although both Thomas' `The Hunchback in the Park' and Armitage's `The Clown Punk' are
based in completely different time periods, they convey similar messages about unaccepted
identities and the way in which outcasts of society are dealt with.
Thomas' `The Hunchback in the Park' is based on the weakness one is faced with from the
un-acceptance in society and thus making them an outcast. It is almost as if the protagonist, the
hunchback, speaks through the poem from different stages of their life. The protagonist says at one
stage, `a solitary mister', whereas at another it says, `laughing when he shook his paper'. These two
quotations in a way are the double consciousness the protagonist is feeling when the world of
children and the world of adults collide. These quotations represent the fact that in the same way the
children `laugh' at the hunchback, the protagonist was also once a tormentor of the hunchback, this
was up until he reached the brink of adulthood (present time), at this stage he begins to sympathise
with the hunchback. The poet, Thomas, in `The Hunchback in the Park', is simply expressing the fact
that the protagonist through the poem is narrating the weaknesses they had developed due to
being labelled as an outsider to society.
However, Armitage's `The Clown Punk' conveys a subject matter about rebellion against the
establishment. The punk movement that began during late 60s and early 70s was created purely to
make a stand against the political views of the time. When the clown punk `slathers his daft mush on
the windscreen' the protagonist develops a type of connection with him. The philosophical way in
which this poem has been written suggests that the protagonist wants to deny what is placed before
him and look past all `the sad tattoos of high punk' to see the inner tragedy and humanity of the
clown punk. All that Armitage is trying to express in `The Clown Punk' is that nothing should be taken
for face value and that the way in which people behave has deep reason behind it and it is
encouraged to find out this reason.
In neither `The Clown Punk' nor `The Hunchback in the Park', are the characters accepted into
society. The titles of the poems which are the titles given to the characters by society are in
themselves offensive. The term `hunchback' is actually an offensive representation of the medical
condition called kyphosis; this is an abnormal upward curving of the spine. Calling someone a `clown
punk' seems rather derogatory as it seems like the person being addressed is a joke. It is also rather
ironic for this poem to be called `The Clown Punk' as clowns usually have smiles painted upon them
and their clothing is boisterous in the same way that punks do, but deep down they are faced with
the inner confliction of humanity and morality.
Thomas uses a lot of visual imagery in his `The Hunchback in the Park' in order to evoke sight
images in the reader's mind and bring the poem to life. It says, `in the fountain basin where I sailed
my ship/ slept at night in a dog kennel'. From reading this line, one would visualise a large basin in
which a toy ship can move around and a scruffy looking dog kennel. The comparison between the
hunchback and a dog kennel demoralises the hunchback as it portrays the hunchback to be only
slightly higher in status than a dog in society.
With the use of both visual and auditory imagery in `The Clown Punk', Armitage allows the
reader to visualise both the images and sounds whilst reading the poem. `Then picture windscreen
wipers, and let it rain', this line evokes an image of the windscreen wipers in motion and the sounds
of rain hitting the window and being wiped away by the wipers. This shows that just one line alone
can make its readers both see and hear things simultaneously. Also, the character is described to look
like `a basket of washing that got up/ and walked, towing a dog on a rope', this shows that the
character has made no real effort and is portrayed like that of a homeless person who doesn't have
the facilities etc. to make themselves presentable for society.
The idea of the character in `The Clown Punk' is similar to that of Thomas' `The Hunchback in
the Park' where the character is also compared to a dog. Being compared to a dog or even saying
that the character is of a similar status to a dog in society makes the character seem almost inhuman

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what people forget to consider is the fact that there aren't any real solid unmoving boundaries on
what normal truly is. In both poems, `The Clown Punk' and `The Hunchback in the Park', there are
stereotypical views held on the characters by society, and these are shown in the way in which these
characters are described with the aid of visual imagery.…read more

Page 3

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This is done I order to represent the fact that
the hunchback feels he is not like other humans and seems at home in the wild.…read more



what grade is this?

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