Education for Leisure Notes

Ouotes & Analysis

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Title :- "Education for Leisure"

:- Oxymoron : two opposites side by side.

:- Ironic : education is not meant for leisure it is supposed to prepare you for the future by teaching you life skills and preparing you for a career. 

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Stanza one :-

:- "Today I am going to kill something. Anything." : Confessional and boastful, chilling opening and casual introduction into a very dark subject matter.

Particular emphasis on the first and last word. "Today" is attention grabbing as it implies that the violent act will be carried out now, it's immediate. "Anything" is shocking and disturbing as it implies that (s)he doesn't care what (s)he killed, it could affect anyone.

Short sentences, staccato, disjointed rhythm, abrupt and violent. 

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Stanza one :-

:- "I am going to play God" : Desperate for the world's attention, there is a disengagement from reality. Delusion showing.

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Stanza one :-

:- "... ordinary day/... boredom stirring in the streets." : Not a special plan on a special day, trying to find release from the boredom.

"stirring" suggesting that boredom can inspire violent reactions against it's condition.

"boredom" is personified here - it is given the potential to 'stir'

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Stanza two :-

:- "I squash a fly against the window with my thumb." : The fly is his/her first victim, matter-of-fact tone - (s)he thinks it's a normal action to kill things.

'I' is emphasised to show that the speaker is in control.

Extension of the 'god-like' feeling as they are able to 'squash' something with his/her thumb.

"squash" suggests the casual nature of this killing, hints at frustration and anger

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Stanza two :-

:- "Shakespeare. It was in/ another language..." : Couldn't relate to it as (s)he didn't understand it, they had no connection to Shakespeare.

Failing education system.

Enjambement allows the poem to flow freely and ensures that you are forced into reading the next line, it also reflects natural speech.

This (killing) is his/her creative expression.

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Stanza two :-

"I breathe out talent on the glass to write my name." : Shows arrogance of speaker, believes in their own superiorty or needs to believe in their own ability as no one else gives them the time of day.

Leaving his/her autograph to tell the world.

Breathing on the glass also suggests boredom and disinterest - staring out to the world beyond. 

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Stanza three :-

:- "I am a genius." : Bragging, feigned self belief, deluded belief.

Out of keeping with the mood of unsuccessfullness of education.

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Stanza three :-

:- "I could be anything I want, with half/ the chance" : Defensive, trying to convince everyone of their ability and sharing a sense of victimisation

Perhaps hints at the root of the speaker's problems, isolation and abandonment.

Wronged by the system, could have became anything but education did not recognise this

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Stanza three :-

:- "... today I am going to change the world. / Something's world." : Wants to change the world they live in to be in control, to play God but then down-sizes to something more manageable

Displays an increasing sense of menace - something or someone is going to suffer at the hands of his/her frustration.

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Stanza three :-

:- "The cat knows I am a genius..." : Starting to get an understanding that the speaker is not just angry but also mentally unstable.

The speaker believes that (s)he can understand what the cat's thinking.

Illustrates the will to believe that (s)he has power over something

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Stanza four :-

:- "bog" : Simplistic language used to reflect the young, working class.

Informal/colloquial language.

Merciless/malicious connotations.

Senseless and emotionless

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Stanza four :-

:- "The budgie is panicking," : Again, the speaker believes that animals feel a particular way towards them and thinks that (s)he understands what they are thinking.

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Stanza four :-

:- "I walk the two miles... appreciate my autograph." : Reality of the speaker's situation, lack of direction and interest

The only thing that punctuates his/her boredom is to kill or walk and get his/her benefit money.

No responsibility or faith placed in the speaker.

Feeling of worthlessness but also desire to be revealed, celebrity status, wants fame

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Stanza five:-

:- "There is nothing left to kill." : Stark contrast to start the new stanza.

Brutal statement, stressing boredom and the desire to kill further.

Death is generalised, the speaker has killed everything that's around.

Shows continuous threat that the speaker poses.

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Stanza five:-

:- "... tell the man he's talking to a superstar. / He cuts me off" : Attention seeking, expresion of his/her arrogance, looking for recognition. 

Delusional, celebrity status repeated from previous stanza.

Angered and frustrated by rejection, everyone else abandons him/her.

"He cuts me off" - pun, what could be the next act of violence.

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Stanza five:-

:- "I get our bread knife and go out." : Baying for blood; on a mission.

"our" gives us a clue that (s)he has a family at home yet perhaps no one gives him/her any attention.

Threatening, looking for their next victim

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Stanza five:-

:- "The pavements glitter suddenly. I touch your arm." : Contrast to 'grey' day from first stanza when the speaker is thinking of killing.

"The pavements glitter" - excitement and promise, star-like - (s)he's about to become a star/infamous.

Idea of blood on the pavement. 

Direct address to the reader makes the threat more immediate and menacing. 

You could be their next victim. This pulls you into the poem and makes you think about the speaker's life and character - will they do it? Are they capable of killing a person?

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