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    The poem support Essay (810 words)

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    Explore how Porter comments on life in ‘A Consumer’s Report’. Use examples from the poem to support your answer. Peter Porter opens his poem ‘A Consumer’s Report’ with the statement that ‘the name of the product I tested is Life’, implying that the ‘product’ which his poem describes is life in itself. The poem opens in the form of a product review, hinting that Porter believes life to be considered a product by many, and that the poem mimics a report in which people ‘review’ life as a product. The title ‘A Consumer’s Report’ suggests that the poet believes that many people detach themselves from the value of life, hence the bland description of their review, which is simply labelled a ‘report’. Porter maintains the sustained metaphor of life being a product throughout the whole poem in order to comment on people’s perception of life as a whole.

    Porter first comments on life as ‘[having] it as a gift’, suggesting that he himself did not choose to live life, and comments on the spontaneous nature of life in which people are not able to choose what kind of life they will live in. He also carries on with ‘I didn’t feel much while using it’, suggesting that many people may not value their life while they are still living out the beginnings of it, and Porter gives evidence for this by suggesting that ‘I’d have liked to be more excited’ about receiving the product of life.

    Porter continues his sustained metaphor of life being a product when he describes it as ‘leaving an embarrassing deposit behind’, commenting on how actions that people take in life will lead to consequences. Porter also mentions that ‘the instructions are fairly large’, another likely suggestion that in life many things can be done, and therefore it is hard to follow the ‘right’ way of doing things, evidence which is given for when he continues with ‘I don’t know which to follow, especially as they seem to contradict each other’. This may hint at the vastly different beliefs, traditions and customs of different people that are all living, making it hard for him to live out his life properly.

    Another comment given on life is that ‘It’s difficult to think of a purpose for it’, hinting that the poet himself struggles to think of reason that the product of life is necessary, and carries on to suggest that ‘it’s just to keep its maker in the job’. Porter describes the product having ‘things…piling up so fast’, indication that life is full of events that we may find hard to handle, and the purpose of the product is once again questioned when he states ‘After all, the world got by…without us, do we need it now?’.

    There is also a side comment at the end of the stanza, enclosed in brackets to demonstrate how many people do not value other people’s opinions, and this is further evidenced by the fact that the poet is described as ‘the respondent’, and that he is just another person who is using ‘life’. Porter emphasises the vastly different beliefs and opinions that exist within life when he describes life as having ‘a lot of different labels’, and comments on how life is imperfect as ‘the shape is awkward… (and) not heat resistant’.

    The poet also comments on the existence of problems in life, hinting at poverty when he comments on the fact that ‘whenever they make it cheaper they seem to put less in’, describing how people born into poverty will receive less of the benefits and opportunities of life. The lack of choice of living life is also described, with the poet suggesting that even ‘if you say you don’t want it, then it’s delivered anyway’, and how we are unable to choose for ourselves whether we live or not.

    Porter also comments on the fact how life can be misused, suggesting that people who are using the product of life ‘are ready to behave badly about’. He also cites many people whose occupations are to investigate people’s opinions of life, such as ‘philosophers or market researchers or historians’, and explains how ‘we shouldn’t care’, and instead should form our own opinion on life as ‘we are the consumers’ of life and therefore ultimately our opinions are for ourselves to form, rather than for other people to dictate, and he gives evidence for this by suggesting ‘Finally, I’d buy it’, demonstrating how the poet believes that in life everyone should be entitled to their own opinions. However, Porter still indicates that there is some negativity in life as he suggests ‘The question of a ‘best buy’ I’d like to leave until I get the competitive product you said you’d send’.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    The poem support Essay (810 words). (2017, Nov 10). Retrieved from

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