Unto us step by step essay guide

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  • 1. “ Unto Us…” Essay Guide Mr Connor’s Class
  • 2. Introduction
    • Title, Poet’s name/ 1970s.
    • Monologue from aborted foetus’s point of view.
    • Milligan makes it hard not to sympathise.
  • 3. Para 1
    • A dramatic monologue – first person perspective – makes the point of view seem authentic – evokes sympathy.
    • Feels like the death of a person – developed – Milligan gives complete persona – abortion seems cruel because of this
    • Use of title – the quote “Unto us a child is born” is cut short – like the foetus’s life.
  • 4. Para 2
    • Milligan uses many poetic devices – sympathy
    • Repetition:
    • “… I was!/ Small, but I WAS!/ Tiny, in shape…”
    • Capitals - the foetus insists it was alive.
    • Small/ Tiny (synonyms) stresses how small and vulnerable.
    • Idea of vulnerability continued with word choice – “I was taken/ Blind, naked, defenceless”
    • against its will – sympathise.
    • Continued with “There was no Queen’s Counsel/ To take my brief” – nobody spoke for the foetus.
  • 5. Para 3
    • Use of metaphor –
    • “ hung in my pulsing cave” – not a real cave – the womb – ideas of safety
    • Connotations of “hung” – the foetus is dead in the womb – why do we sympathise?
    • Use of personification –
    • “ Each part of me was saying/ A silent ‘Wait for me/ I will bring you love!”
    • conveys the urge to live
    • every limb wanted it
  • 6. Para 4
    • Use of tone –
    • Serious/ mournful in first half
    • Becomes sarcastic/ bitter in second half
    • “ Whose good name/ Was graven on a brass plate/ in Wimpole Street” – someone with a good name, but is carrying out a killing.
    • Idea of respectable people doing horrible things.
    • We understand the narrator’s bitter feelings.
  • 7. Para 5
    • Use of imagery –
    • “…dropped on the sterile floor/ of a foot operated plastic waste/ bucket.”
    • Sterile – shows lifeless environment
    • Plastic waste bucket – cheap, without value/ no appropriate ceremony for death.
    • The foetus is given no dignity.
  • 8. Para 6
    • Reaction of the parents
    • “ My father smiled” – pleased by the death.
    • “ No grief filled my empty space” – the parents did not mourn – did not care
    • Builds to “My death was celebrated”
    • Foetus feels mother had abandoned her proper role – “pretending to be a woman/ Like my mother was”
  • 9. Conclusion
    • Explain that Milligan uses many techniques.
    • What does Milligan think of abortion?
    • Do you think the poem makes a strong case against abortion?