Poem - GIVE

Give - from Character and Voice section (Aqa)

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  • A homeless person who sleeps in people's doorway every night
  • The homless person (narrator) offers to entertain the reader for money - "can dance"
  • Homeless person doesn't want extravangt gifts, he wants "just change"
  • At the end, the narrator's tone changes as he has a break down and phyiscally starts begging "on my knees"
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  • Fragmented form - shows change in time and tone. First he is calm/ controlled, then becomes sarcastic, then desperate
  • Opening and closing likes have couplet rhyme first two lines are welcoming introductory couplet while last two lines are asking audience to empathises
  • Half Rhyme - "yours" and "stars" ( 4th and 5th stanza)
  • Caesura -  splits up ideas into small chunks, to allow reader to absorb the whole concept
  • Regular iambic tetrameter beat is used - giving the poem a steady consistent rhythm with regular pauses
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Language and Imagery


  • Regularly repeats words, phrases and he way line is constructed - gives a sense of monotony
  • 3rd stanza - consists of entertainment imagery - shows narrator will do anything, however dangerous or degrading for money
  • Final 22 lines use four single-syllable words combined will alliterative  words "big" and "beg" and repeats "you" - to emphasis on potential giver
  • First person is used until the end when "you" is repeated to add dramatic and persuasive effect
  • Uses colloquial (conversational) language
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Feelings and Attitudes


  • Pride - intilaly the narrator seems quite prodeuc and doesn't wnat to ask for help directly
  • Desperation - at the end, narrator becomes hopeless as he starts negging for help
  • Bitterness - sarcastic tone could be hinting narrators anger at insufficients help
  • Brings 2 seperate worlds together - rich and poor / lucky and unlucky
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Link to Christmas Theme


  • "stars" - represent the "Three Wise Men" who begged and kneeled in the Nativity scenes, they knelt before Jesus
  • "Frankincese" and "myrrh"
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Key Quotes


1)"Give" - caring, sharing, simple title, like a command, an instruction

2) "Copper" - narrator must be old as copper is an old fashion word

3) "Copper", "Silver", "Gold" - repeated reference to money

4) "Change" - homeless person wants nothing more but loose change

                  - indirectly asking us the reader to change our views on homeless people

5) "Dear" - sounds romantic and intimate but also hints sarcasm

              - gives an uncomfortable threatening atmosphere

6) "I beg of you" - desperate  - asking for symphathy / pity

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Authors Perspective


  • Line 10 - the use of the ambiguous words "change" is the author asking us to rethink about people who have to live on the streets ?
  • We stereotypically think of homeless people negatively. Is that right?
  • Does author want us to think about the reasons why people end up in the streets ?
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It's really good thanks **

I hadn't even thought of half of these points....really useful

Soph **

? Secret - Team GR

ur welcome :)

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