An Easy Passage - Julia Copus

Anna Wilson
Mind Map by Anna Wilson, updated more than 1 year ago
Anna Wilson
Created by Anna Wilson about 4 years ago
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Mind Map on An Easy Passage - Julia Copus, created by Anna Wilson on 01/11/2016.

Resource summary

An Easy Passage - Julia Copus
1 The poem focuses on a brief moment in time. A young teenage girl in crouched on her porch roof, plucking up the courage to jump in through the window. She is watched by her best friend, 'with whom she is half in love' and a 'flush-faced secretary.'
2 The poem is a metaphor for the transition ('liminal state') between childhood and adulthood - the title calls it an 'Easy Passage' but it is clear in the poem that it is a challenge. The poem explores themes of burgeoning sexuality ('her tiny breasts'), and the opportunities of childhood compared to the bleakness of adulthood - the difference between living in the present, and in the future.
3 VOICE - 3rd person omniscient, focus is mainly on the young girl but the secretary is also included for contrast. One reflective/intrusive interjection from the narrator's voice - 'What can she know of the way the world admits us less and less the more we grow?' - bleak ('elegiac tone') view, wisdom, fragmented rhyme. Uses present & present continuous - reader gets a sense of the immediacy of events.
4 STRUCTURE - one long stanza, suggests continuing journey. Use of enjambement - long sentences give breathless feel to reflect the girl's anxiety/fear.
5 LANGUAGE - unlimited access to girl's inner thoughts, 'the one thing she must not do is to think of the narrow windowsill'. Minute attention to detail - 'flimsy, hole-punched, aluminium lever.' Contrast in vocabulary used for the girls and for the rest of the world - they are 'lit,' 'gold stud earrings,' 'silver anklet,' 'shimmering-oyster painted toenails,' whereas the world around them - 'long, grey, eye of the street,' 'drab electroplating factory.' Also contrast between 'trembling' and 'gracefully' - may look easy but is in fact a struggle. 'Sharp drop of the stairwell' sudden descent into adulthood. Striking use of the word 'armaments' - she is learning to shield and defend herself using her femininity.
6 Compare with 'To My Nine-Year-Old Self' by Helen Dunmore - both explore themes of growing up and the contrast between childhood and adulthood.
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