â€œWarningâ€ by Jenny Joseph is a poem that is symbolic of the natural progression of the average personâ€™s life. The progression is the change of attitude towards things that was once important in life. Through Josephâ€™s character in â€œWarning,â€ the idea of possessing a carefree view on life at a later age is presented. The character can be classified as a rebel because she defies societal norms and adopts non-conformist ideas, choosing to do what ever she pleases. The poem describes a metamorphosis of the mind and actions that could be considered a rite of passage upon becoming a senior citizen. .
The poem begins with the characterâ€™s clothing. â€œâ€¦I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesnâ€™t go, and doesnâ€™t suit me.â€ Through the literary device of overstatement, Joseph uses two extreme colors (that does not match) to express the idea that she will wear whatever she pleases. Symbolically, purple is a color that represents rebellion. This line demonstrates the characterâ€™s defiance, not caring of how silly others may believe it to look, hence going against societal norms. .
Joseph uses another literary device, metonymy, to express that she will neglect things that were once important and begin to focus on luxuries. â€œAnd I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves and satin sandals, and say weâ€™ve no money for butter.â€ In this powerful statement Joseph is not specifically be speaking of butter, she uses it to symbolize a staple or a necessity. She does the same with summer gloves, satin sandals, and brandy but to symbolize lavish luxuries. .
Joseph continues to use metonymy in â€œWarningâ€ with the lines â€œAnd pick the flowers in other peopleâ€™s gardens and learn to spit.â€ Symbolically, this line represents the depraved and crude manner in which the character would like to be able to live at an old age.