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