The Almond Tree By Jon Stallworthy

Claire Getchell
Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

This is my quotes and analysis I will be using in my exam so feel free to use this for ideas :D

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Claire Getchell
Created by Claire Getchell over 5 years ago
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The Almond Tree By Jon Stallworthy
1 "All the way to the hospital / the lights were as green as peppermints"
1.1 Poem starts in a happy tone
1.2 Simile used to symbolise the green colour of the traffic lights, also symbolises the movement of the poem
1.3 The peppermints symbolise how the protagonist is alert and focused on the road.
2 "Let it be a son, said / the man in the driving mirror / let it be a son"
2.1 Repetition of "Let it be a son" show how he hoped to become father to a healthy boy.
2.2 Out-of-body experience as he refers to his reflection as "the man"
3 "I parked in the almond's / shadow blossom, for the tree / was waving, waving me / upstairs with a child's hand"
3.1 First reference to the almond tree
3.2 Personification as tree beckons him into the hospital
4 "New- / Minted, my bright farthing / coined by our love, stamped with / our images, how you enrich us!"
4.1 Protagonist is filled with joy and happiness at the birth of his son.
4.2 This is the poems high point.
4.3 Repetition of "our" is used to emphasise on the joy and excitement
5 "the visitors' bell / scissored the calm / ...The doctor walked with me / to the slicing doors. / ...His voice - I have to tell / you - set another bell / beating in my head: / your son is a mongol"
5.1 Dramatic change in tone.
5.2 Harsh language prepares the reader for the upcoming shock
5.3 "set another bell beating in my head" warns reader of bad news being delivered.
5.4 It is revealed that the protagonists son has downs syndrome.
6 "How easily the word went in - / clean as a bullet / leaving no mark on the skin, / stopping the heart within it.
6.1 Simile is used to emphasise on the protagonists shock.
6.2 "mongol" is like a bullet.
6.3 The doctors' words were quick and damaging to the protagonist
7 "my own / car under its almond tree / an the almond waving me down"
7.1 Second reference of the almond tree.
7.2 Now waving him down to deal with reality.
8 "In a numbered cot / my son sailed from me; never to come / ashore in my kingdom / speaking my language."
8.1 Land and sea imagery is used as protagonist feels detached from his son.
8.2 "kingdom" links back to when the protagonist felt as though he were a "lucky prince"
8.3 He feels as though him and his son will never understand each other.
9 "The almond tree / was beautiful in labour / ...flower after flower shook free // ...In labour the tree was becoming itself. I, too / ...saw myself blossoming, // wrenched from the caul of my thirty / years' growing, fathered by my son"
9.1 Repetition of "flower" as tree is in full blossom it is beautiful, when the son matures he too shall be beautiful.
9.2 Tone changes as he compares his new found matureness to the blossoming tree.
9.3 Paradox of "fathered by my son", Stallworthy means the protagonists son has had a maturing influence on his father.
10 "You have a sickness they cannot heal, / the doctors say: locked in / your body you will remain. / Well, I have been locked in mine. / We will tunnel each other out. You seal / the covenant with a grin.
10.1 The reader is finally reminded of the son's illness.
10.2 Protagonist acknowledges that he has been trapped by a narrow mind.
11 "my little mongol love, / I have learnt more from your lips / than you will from mine perhaps. / I have learnt that to live is to suffer / to suffer is to live."
11.1 Finally acknowledges the child as his own.
11.2 He has changed due to his son's illness.
11.3 Repetition of "suffer" and "live" emphasise on how we can't have one without the other.

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