Happy Birthday, By Samuel Johnson, And When I Was One And Twenty

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“Welcome to the grown-up world of legal age. Experience life at its best with all your own bills, problems and worries. Happy Birthday.” ~Unknown Author This quote, briefly summarizing a new outlook one can potentially take on life after turning 21, focuses on “experiencing life at its best”, yet in the midst of being plagued by a number of new responsibilities such as bills and other problems. The terse (PSAT Vocab) “Happy Birthday” at the end serves as a smart-aleck method of introducing a new 21-year-old into a true adult role, one with more responsibilities and worries than have been dealt with before. Just like this quote, the poems “To Sir John Lade, on His Coming of Age” by Samuel Johnson, and “When I Was One-and-Twenty” by A.E. Housman, embody messages of advisory to new 21-year-olds, embodying the new possibilities and freedoms, yet also detailing some cautions to take along with new-found responsibilities. Both of these works give counsel and warning about joys and responsibilities of turning 21, however, Johnson 's rendition mainly portrays the joys and excitement of a gained freedom, while Housman stresses the importance of avoiding foolish mistakes such as carelessly falling in love.

Both of these poems serve to enlighten a new 21-year-old on how he should live his life, including similar messages of advice and warning. The narrators in each of these works speak of a proverbially “care-free” and affluent lifestyle, encouraging his respective

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