‘Sun and Fun’ and ‘Devonshire Street W.1’ by John Betjeman Essay

September 22, 2017 General Studies

These two verse forms. although sharing an ultimately common subject. differ greatly in their content and manner. Although the typical indicants of Betjeman’s work ( simple rhyming and structured stanzas ) are apparent in both. it is obvious to the reader that his purposes for each verse form and how they are interpreted do non correlate.

The kernel of both verse forms is decease and what it means to the topic. With ‘Sun and Fun’ we are presented with one poetic voice in the first individual narrative – a night-club proprietress. The verse form is full of sorrow and contempt. with our capable looking back at her life and the realisation that a mercenary. superficial being has non benefited her in the slightest. In fact. here she is. entirely in a dirty. seamy cabaret without aid. support or anything to look frontward to. These feelings of hopelessness and morbidity are echoed in ‘Devonshire Street W. 1’ yet the character described in this verse form. and the scope of emotions he experiences. are much more intense for he has merely been informed by his physician that his decease is at hand. to be taken by a terminal disease. Unlike ‘Sun and Fun’ . the scene here is cold. traditional and unfertile. possibly a contemplation of a asleep and stunned head.

With ‘Sun and Fun’ . the storyteller reflects on her yesteryear with immature suers. stylish apparels. vacations and passion. We are given the feeling that. although of import at the clip. these memories are useless to her and that everything around her was impermanent ; fliting minutes of merriment that could non last everlastingly. With nil to back up or excite her. no comrade or solidness within her life. what else is at that place to populate for? Betjeman gives the reader the feeling here that this adult female lives through her sorrow on a day-to-day footing. seizing memories that are no longer corporeal.

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In complete contrast to this. ‘Devonshire Street W. 1’ high spots the solidness environing the topic. inanimate objects that shall stay when he has gone. the bunco and hustle of mundane London life. the “brick-built” constructions. his married woman and the relationship that he is go forthing behind. There is nil fleeting or impermanent in this man’s life at present – no superficial or fiddling considerations – merely cold. asleep depression and all that he must go forth buttocks.

In add-on to this. with ‘Sun and Fun’ . the character’s life is go oning. For illustration she still works. still notices undistinguished inside informations such as “…a host of small spiders” and has the emotional scope to reminisce about past events and measure their worth. The topic in ‘Devonshire Street W. 1’ . nevertheless is wholly affected and asleep. unable to grok the graduated table of what he has been told and manage the feelings that accompany the daze.

Betjeman highlights the sunshine in both of these verse forms. but yet once more it’s relevancy differs in both. First of all. in ‘Sun and Fun’ the dark nine proprietress opens up the drapes. supplying visible radiation to her dark and begrimed small cabaret. possibly in an effort to remind her of the yearss when there was “sun plenty for idling upon beaches” . She refers to the Sun ‘percolating’ her. Does this mean that the Sun bit by bit infiltrated and spread around her organic structure. conveying felicity and heat. in mention to firing passions that can ne’er be rekindled? It seems that although this lady appeared to see life in lone it’s shallowest capacity. it was the lone life she knew and mattered to her all the same.

Contrastingly. in ‘Devonshire Street W. 1’ uses the Sun as a symbol of life that is ongoing. mocking the infirmity and insignificance of the adult male in comparing with it’s ain prominence and permanency. Everyone notices the Sun. it is relied upon and gazed upon. yet this adult male who is enduring. deceasing and in soundless hurt bears small importance to the multitudes ignorant of his predicament. Quite merely. they notice the Sun and it’s radiating heat in topographic point of a adult male and his upside-down heartache.

Another factor which underlines the difference in these verse forms is the fact that at their several terminals. there is contemplation on the yesteryear in one and projection of the hereafter in another. ‘Sun and Fun’ closes with our storyteller oppugning the worth of her wild. merriment yearss and the usage of the material objects in life. now that she is old and entirely. Yet in ‘Devonshire Street W. 1’ the deceasing adult male takes a inexorable expression to the hereafter and. three stanzas in. inquiries the justness in him deceasing a “long and painful” decease.

It is obvious that these verse forms are unrelated and the characters differ greatly. but in measuring their relevancy when sing decease. they both offer valid positions on how a human reacts when his death becomes world. or at least touchable. Betjeman has adopted a elusive attack for both verse forms. without cadavers or descriptions of death’s decay. But what is merely as dramatic and outstanding here is the sense of at hand death and unhappiness. carried out with delicate restraint in order to exemplify the ideas of these characters.


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