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On a Portrait of a Deaf Man

In: English and Literature

Submitted By PsychoBoy
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Comparing On a Portrait of a Deaf Man with Brendon Gallacher
On a Portrait of a Deaf Man (OPDM) and Brendon Gallacher both explore a variety of similar themes, which the poets (Betjeman and Kay) use to present the characters accordingly. We find two characters that convey their love and anguish through their relationship with someone who has died − albeit imaginative for the narrator in Brendon Gallacher. In Brendon Gallacher, Kay delves into the past experience of the narrator and his joyous relationship with his imaginary friend. Similarly, in OPDM we witness the narrator delving into the past and describing his sense of anguish from the loss of his father as well as the loving relationship he also had with him. Moreover both poets’ skilful use language and structure effectively emphasises the character’s nostalgic look into the past. This emotion is clearly evident in both poems.
The theme of love in both poems is also apparent and is used by the poets to effectively convey the affectionate memories of the past. In OPDM, the narrator’s love of his father is clearly shown when he remarks, “He took me on long silent walks.” Here the narrator remembers his father with great affection and emphasises his father’s deafness. The narrator continues to emphasise his love of his father with “In country lanes when young,” this shows the long relationship the narrator has had with his father, from childhood until his father’s death. The imagery of affection produced for the reader, accentuates the loving relationship of the characters. Similarly, Kay also accentuates the loving relationship between the narrator and Brendon Gallacher. We witness how both characters confide and spend time together: “He would hold my hand and take me by the river,” here their childish innocence is clear with the narrator’s anecdotal evidence, allowing the reader to visualise with the...

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