“The Identification ” by Roger McGough Is a poem in which there is a Character for whom I feel sympathy. I will explain why I feel sympathetic towards that person, and what particular words and phrases the poet uses which mad me feel this way. The poem is about a boy named Stephen, who was tragically killed in an explosion. His father is called to the police station to check if that’s his son. His father’s hopes are shattered as nearly all the evidence proves that it is Stephen lying in front of him. The poet uses many words and phrases which makes me feel sympathy towards Stephen’s father.
When Stephen’s father enters the room, he says, “ So you think it’s Stephen? Then I’d best make sure. Be on the safe side as it were. ” I sympathies with Stephen’s father here because he is very nervous about seeing the body for the first time. His use of cliche emphasis his anxiety about the strong possibility that his son is no more. When Stephen’s father sees the hair of the body, he says, “Ah, there’s been a mistake. The hair you see, it’s black, now Stephen’s fair… ” I feel for the man here because when he sees the hair his hopes are raised that the body in front of him is not his son’s.
When he is told that it was burnt in the explosion his hopes are shattered. “Burnt black ” emphasis on the painful injuries Stephen must have suffered. This is an awful thing to experience as a parent. The poem goes on as Stephen’s father is getting more tense about Stephen. When the face of the corpse is revealed, Stephen’s father says, “The mask of charred wood, blistered, scarred-could that have been a child’s face. ” I feel sympathetic towards Stephen’s father here as he was shocked to see the child’s face.
I can imagine how dreadful this must have been for Stephen’s father, as no parent would even dream of their child in this situation in this state. Describing Stephen’s face as a mask of charred wood emphasis that his face is completely burned, that his father can’t even recognise him. The corpse clothing is recognised by Stephen’s father, “The sweater, where intact, looks in fact all too familiar. ” I sympathies with Stephen’s father here because once he was picking clothes for his son and now he is picking his son based on that small piece of clothing. This is a fearful thing to do as a parent.
Stephen’s father continues looking for evidence which would prove that the boy in front of him is not Stephen. When Stephen’s dad saw the scoutbelt, he said, “The scoutbelt. Yes that’s his. I recognise the studs he hammered in ” This shows that Stephen’s is familiar with the scoutbelt as not a single person will have the exact same scoutbelt. This makes Stephen’s father feel frightened as the body could be Stephen’s. “Not a week a ago” suggest that he never knew this would happen to his son. His dad talks about his addiction to clothes, “When boys get clothes-conscious ow you know. ” This is one of the most heartbreaking part as this shows, that Stephen was a young teenager when this accident happened to him. I feel sorry for Stephen’s father as his heart must be broken in to million of piece. As the poem moves on, Stephen’s father examines the body more carefully. At the point when Stephen’s father is really scared, he says, “Pockets. Empty the pockets. Handkerchief? Could be any school boy’s. ” Stephen’s father can’t find a splinter of hope to convince him that his son is out there missing.
Stephen’s father says that the handkerchief could be any school boys because at the time when this poem was written every kid had his own handkerchief. Something else catches his eyes, “Oh this can’t be Stephen. I don’t allow his to smoke you see” I can imagine how Stephen’s father must have felt when he saw the cigarettes. Stephen’s father thought his relationship with Stephen was really close, “he would disobey me”. But we know that Stephen broke his father’s faith and trust in him by smoking behind his father’s back.
Stephen’s father hopes are keep on getting shattered as more and more things are belonging of Stephen’s. When Stephen’s father saw the penknife he said, “but that’s his penknife. That’s his alright”. This makes me feel really sorry for Stephen’s father as all the evidence are going against him. The feeling which Stephen’s father is experiencing at the moment are the worst feeling a parent can have about their child. Then the key ring comes up, “And that’s his key on the key ring. Grant gave him just the other night. ”
This makes me think that how on earth will Stephen’s father tell his mum and wife what happened to Stephen. As Stephen was really close to his gran, that she gave him a key to her house, so that he can see her whenever he wants. Stephen’s father is assured of hat the boy in front of him is stephen, “so this must be him”. This makes us think that Stephen’s father’s world is shattered. As the main thing in his life left him. In the final verse, Stephen’s father accepts Stephen’s flaws and starts making excuses about his cigarettes, “ No doubt that he was minding them or one of the older boys. ” His father says this so that no one thinks badly about Stephen and to make himself believe that his son didn’t disobeyed him. In the last three lines, Stephen’s father says, “Yes that’s it. That’s him. That’s our Stephen. ” This makes me feel sympathy towards Stephen’s father as he accepts the fact that his son is no more. I can imagine that this must have been the hardest thing to do as parent. Stephen’s father is the person for whom I feel sympathy for and I have explained why I feel sympathetic towards him.
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