Areas of comparison

Gap Year

Unlike 'Keeping Orchids', the relationship in 'Gap Year' is close and positive.

While memory of the brief meeting in 'Keeping Orchids' is quickly lost as Kay and her birth mother travel off to different destinations, in 'Gap Year' Kay's relationship with her son stays strong despite the geographical distance between them.

There is an openness and a sense of sharing experience that brings them together. In contrast, in 'Keeping Orchids' the mother's closed nature and secretiveness prevents a close bond forming.

Lucozade

Both poems deal with a mother-daughter relationship from the daughter's perspective. But there is a significant contrast in how the daughters feel about their mothers, and in the mothers' personalities.

In 'Lucozade' the daughter feels worried and protective towards her mother. There is warmth and openness in the relationship and it is clear the mother is willing to tell her daughter what she is feeling.

Both poems make symbolic use of flowers. In 'Lucozade' the chrysanthemums represent negative associations with illness and death. It is their rejection that is positive.

In contrast the orchids are a more complex representation of many different aspects of Kay's relationship with her birth mother.

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