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Word Count: 1,863
The Captain of the 1964 Top of the Form Team is written in dramatic monologue The narrator describes to the audience a time when he was top of the form team The title introduces the ideas behind the poem Top of the form team was a game show in the 6os which showed competing teams of school children who would answer general knowledge questions There was a strong emphasis on individual strengths The date 1964 is relevant-it was in the period of widespread social and racial change the poems main theme is how things changed The opening stanza gives the reader fact after fact it puts an emphasis on how this is important The fact that the narrator only remembers his childhood through a series of game-show type answers is very significant is understanding that that was all that was important to him at this time However the tone isnt droll it is very jumpy highlighting the narrators energy optimism and pride in himself Duffy manages to demonstrate this by using adjectives like fizzing whooped and blew like Mick she also shows his confidence by using self-assured phases like No snags Come on I smiled She gives these to the reader as short phrases a pause between facts it gives the impression that he only stops to congratulate himself There are also constant references to the pride he has of his class Duffy illustrates him as middle class The clever smell of my satchel I think Duffy has written this to show how the new smell represents money and thus success I look so brainy youd think Id just had a bath The blazer The badge The tie Prize shoes These images and allusions all stress that money will get you further and Duffy makes it clear that the parents take pride in this cherishing the success My mother kept my mascot Gonk on the TV set for a year Working class
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