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Manners by Elizabeth Bishop
Transcript of Manners by Elizabeth Bishop
An only child.
Born in Worcester Massachusetts. in 1911.
Father died when she was eight months old.
Mother became mentally ill and was institutionalized.
She lived with her grandparents on a farm in Great Village, Nova Scotia.
Received very little formal schooling because of chronic illness.
Developed chronic asthma.
An American poet and short-story writer.
Influenced by the poet Marianne Moore.
Died October 6, 1979
My grandfather said to me
as we sat on the wagon seat,
"Be sure to remember to always
speak to everyone you meet."
We met a stranger on foot.
My grandfather's whip tapped his hat.
"Good day, sir. Good day. A fine day."
And I said it and bowed where I sat.
This poem reminded me of my grandfather. I used to ride with him in his old truck. He spoke to everyone with a smile. He also always made sure I spoke to everyone.
"Change in time"
When automobiles went by,
the dust hid the people's faces,
but we shouted "Good day! Good day!
Fine day!" at the top of our voices.
Note: The grandfather's mode of transportation was a wagon, which symbolize the "old ways" and the automobiles symbolize the "new".
The theme in "Manners" show society has forgotten how to show friendliness, kindness, and consideration to others. The grandfather is the only person who speaks to everyone.
Analysis of speaker
For a Child in 1918,
would indicate the poem
was written by Bishop
who would have been
nine years old. The
poem show the reader
the important upbringing
Bishop received from her
grandfather. It also
show she thought
highly of her grandfather
Grandfather's whip symbolize his authority
For example, when they came across a stranger on foot, the grandfather tapped his whipped as a reminder for Bishop to speak
rain up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it
Then we overtook a boy we knew
with his big pet crow on his shoulder.
Always offer everyone a ride;
don’t forget that when you get older,”
my grandfather said. So Willy
climbed up with us, but the crow
gave a “Caw!” and flew off. I was worried.
How would he know where to go?
But he flew a little way at a time
from fence post to fence post, ahead;
and when Willy whistled he answered.
A fine bird,” my grandfather said,
“and he’s well brought up. See, he answers
nicely when he’s spoken to.
Man or beast, that’s good manners.
Be sure that you both always do.”
Speak to everyone
Treat everyone with respect
**Good manners was very important to Bishop's grandfather and he wanted to make sure she never forgot good manners. Equally important Bishop's grandfather was from an older generation who were raised on being polite . In the story, people do not speak to each other, which show a change in generation of people.
Analysis of setting
1918 World World I ended.
Growth of industrialization.
Horses and wagons would be replaced by automobiles.
A new generation of people not friendly.
When we came to Hustler Hill,
he said that the mare was tired,
so we all got down and walked,
as our good manners required.
In conclusion, after a long day of ridging, the grandfather and Bishop came to Hustler Hill. Hustler means face pace. "The horse, like the simple past it symbolize,is weakened by hustle of modern life, but even so, "our" good manners prevail, internalized from the grandfather's values. Even though the world has changed good manners are forever.
Bishop, Elizabeth. "Manners."The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed.
Michael Myer. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. Page 795-796. print
This is my own work – Rachel Searcy
Good manners are important.
Always offer people a ride.
Always speak to everyone you meet.
Always be polite to others.
Even though we live in a modernized world, showing consideration and being kind to others will never get old.
Central purpose of poem