In Mrs Tilscher's Class -

In Mrs Tilschers Class By Carol Ann Duffy Summary The poem tells us the story of Duffy as she grows up through school and life. She has nostalgic feelings for her early school life The story is based upon her childhood experiences throughout her time at school It shows her transition from childhood innocence to young adolescence. The poem is made up of four regular stanzas of 7

10 lines each Contextual Information Duffy was first educated in Saint Austin's RC Primary School in Stafford, England. She is the first Scottish, female and openly gay poet laureate. In the poem, Duffy mentions the murderers, Brady and Hindley. These were actual murderers who targeted children. Throughout their time of influence, they managed to kill five children between the ages of 10 17. Some were sexually assaulted or drugged and dumped in graves. The fifth body is still yet to be found.

Key Themes Loss (of innocence)

Change/transition Nostalgia Love Safety/security Passage of time Sexuality Childhood experience Techniques

Word choice Simile Metaphor Sentence structure Syntax (word order) Childhood Experience In Mrs Tilschers class/You could travel up the Blue Nile. Word choice shows how she can inspire the pupils to learn

and imagine that they are elsewhere other than the classroom. Creates a sense of mystery and wonder surrounding Mrs Tilscher. You ran through the gates, impatient to be grown.. Word choice shows her changed attitude as she has grown up. Like all children, she has grown from an innocent child to an independent young adult. She cannot wait to leave school and begin an independent life. Safety/Security Brady and Hindley/faded, like the faint, uneasy smudge of a mistake.

Simile although the child murderers were at large at that time, Mrs Tilscher was able to make a safe environment for the kids to learn. However, just as the pencil mark is rubbed away, there is still a mark just like the threat of the infamous child murderers. The classroom glowed like a sweetshop. Simile Duffy feels the classroom is like a second home, as she feels comfortable and happy there. Mrs Tilscher has created a great and comforting environment. Comparing it to a sweetshop suggests it is full of colour and wonder. Change/Transition Over the Easter term the inky tadpoles changed/from

commas into exclamation marks. Metaphor the exclamation mark is physically bigger and more advanced than a comma showing a clear change in the children both physically and mentally, showing a clear passage of time. You asked her/ how you were born and Mrs Tilscher smiled/ and turned away. The relationship between Duffy and Mrs Tilscher has changed. Her help and security is no longer there. The line breaks emphasize a division between the teacher and pupil. Loss of Innocence

You kicked him. Sentence structure short sentence shows her disbelief at the truth. She is no longer an innocent child but a person with a fiery personality. Short sentence also signifies how quick she reacted showing her absolute rage at the rough boy. The air tasted of electricity. Metaphor signifies the tension in the air now that theres a change in attitude. All pupils are now desperate to leave so theyre annoyed that they have to still be there. There are feelings of agitation and excitement implying a new energy. Thanks for listening

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