An Analysis Of William Collins's 'On Turning Ten'

897 Words 4 Pages
Growing up and becoming independent can be a challenging transition, and it could make some people feel hopeless, lost, scared, and even sick. These sentiments are shared and further discussed in Collins’, “On Turning Ten” where a young child is depressed and sickened by the thought and realization of turning ten, which to him/her, is a big number. This sense of hopelessness concerning the inevitable nature of aging is sustained and proved by the ironic contrast in tone and diction between the child’s view of the past and the present, the structure and writing style of the poem, and the various metaphors that are used to portray a negative outlook on aging. Therefore, the melancholy tone used in Collins', "On Turning Ten" illustrates the loss of hope that is evident as the child fears that the reality of growing up, equates to the loss of freewill, which ultimately causes him/her to feel sick. To start, there is a sharp contrast in the tone and diction used by the child when he/she describes the past compared to the present time. In the past, the child seems to be very imaginative, content and carefree. He/she had big dreams of becoming a variety of different things such as a soldier, a prince and even an Arabian wizard (Collins 2.13, 2.16). The tone used in the second stanza is also uplifting and reminiscent of good memories by using diction such as, “perfect simplicity” and “beautiful complexity” to illustrate a positive light on the child’s past (2.9-10). However, at

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