Dear Mr. Lee Analysis – Term Paper


1.        The narrator is a teenager who is probably between fifteen to eighteen years. This is evident from the poem as the narrator still depends on mother for suggestions and answers. The narrator is female as she tells Mr. Smart, and when I had a cold, and I often took you to bed with me, to cheer me up (Fanthorpe 20). It is evident that these words are from a woman to a man but not a man to a man.

2.        A Free Verse Style is a poem which is written without consistency in the musical and meter patterns and its rhyme is no consistent. This poem is in the Free Verse Style because the rhythm it has tends to be that of a natural speech. There is no flow in rhymes or pattern musicality which gives it the consistent poetic flow. It is evident that the narrator uses no flow in the rhymes or musical patterns for example Dear Mr. Lee (Mr. Smart says its rude to call you, having lived with you really all year (Fanthorpe 1-4)

3.        The narrator has no passion for literature whatsoever as she states in the beginning that I used to hate English. (Fanthorpe 6) It is also evident that the narrator hates literature as at the end of the poem she states please do not feel guilty for me failing the exam (Fanthorpe 46-47) instead of feeling guilty herself as it was her filing and not that of Mr. Smart. Mr. Smart emphasizes the narrators lack of passion in literature when he asserts that for anyone who has the narrators punctuation to consider poetry as a career is enough to make angels weep. All the above sentiments prove that the narrator has no passion for literature (Fanthorpe 44).

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4.        The narrator finds questions and studying to be tedious. First she apologizes to Mr. Smart for living with his book and staining it with kit Kat and coke if you could see my copy its lived with me (Fanthorpe 18). She finds questions tedious as the examiners will be looking for cogent and terse answers which she is not able to handle. The lack of passion for literature of the narrator is due to his tedious nature of studying and answering the examiners questions.

5.        The narrator has issue with the examinators of literature because she is not good in cogent and terse like they set the examination, but instead wants to be like Mr. Smart. She complains about how they set their examinations. The other issue that the narrator has with the examinations of literature is that she did not like the questions the examiners set and gives an excuse that I didnt like those questions about social welfare in the rural community and the seasons as perceived by an adolescent (Fanthorpe 25-27).

6.        The pun in the poem is also Laurie who is also Mr. Lee. The narrator uses the two names to emphasize on the roles that this particular character had. Even though the narrator uses the pun in order to set the difference between the same person but has different applications in the poem who apparently is Mr. Lee. This is evident in the first few stanzas Dear Mr. Lee (Mr. Smart says its rude to call you Laurie. (Fanthorpe 1-3).

7.        One thing I think I have read on the poem is that the narrator does not have a problem with being poor. This gets me thinking because, the narrator seems sophisticated about Mr. Lee to an extent she says I want to be like you, not mind being poor (Fanthorpe 36) and I amazed by how the narrator is not committed to her work but instead she is okay with being poor.

8.         The Power of Words affects our narrator because, she seems so much influenced by the words or maybe advices from Mr. Smart and that is why she is constantly asking for forgiveness. I still love cider, it hasnt made any difference (Fanthorpe 50) According to the narrator she is affected by the power of words that she received from Mr. Smart, which include the book she had to read which has actually made no difference towards her.