20th century poetry

Next the nurse has come in with tea for the woman. This tells us that she was in some kind of old peoples home. The writer says, “But nurse was alone with her own little soul, and the things were alone with theirs. ” This means that she wasn’t really paying that much attention to the woman, she was in her own little world, probably only worried about doing her job properly, not caring about how the woman is. The nurse closes the window, and unrolls the blinds, lights the mantle and puts coal on the fire, still having not looked at the woman yet. The nurse says to the woman that tea is ready, and tells her to wake up.

The writer says, “Oh chintzy, chintzy cheeriness, half dead and half alive. ” She said those things in a halfhearted manner, not really meaning them at all, just doing her job like she usually does. We find out that it is nearly five o’clock. The old lady probably has not been checked up on since lunch time, shows how much this nurse cares. In the next verse, we find out more about how done up this home is. It has yellow Italianate arches; these are an expensive piece of a house. The old woman’s children have probably paid for her to stay here because they know that she will die some time soon.

The nurse now actually checks to see if the woman is all right. The writer says, “At the grey, decaying face,” he is exaggerating a bit in how dead she looks, he is trying to emphasise the fact that she has been dead a while, and that the nurses are uncaring. The nurse then moves the bottles, probably from medicine, and leaves the room. She shows some bit of respect by tiptoeing over the hall. She turns down the heat. She doesn’t seem to have shouted to anyone that the woman is dead; this nurse doesn’t really care at all. This poem is about dying in comfort, which the woman did.

Except that none of her family were there for her. This is the same as in Evans except he was dying in really bad surroundings. They both died with no one there for them. The other people in each poem are very different, because in Evans the clergyman actually cares a lot about this man, we know this when we find out he feels inadequate, but the nurse the Death in Leamington does not care one bit about the old lady, she is just there to do her job. But then again, this could be seen as a comparison as well, because both people are trying to do their job.

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