The context of this poem is based on an interview for a position at a company. The interview includes the ‘interviewer’ and ‘interviewees’. The poem is written from the perspective of the interviewer asking questions to the candidates. The main problem in this situation is that there is a sense of prejudice shown by the interviewer to the candidates. Also, the candidates are not being treated fair to even be considered the position at the company. Another problem is that in the poem people are judged on looks and appearance instead of their knowledge and potential.
The impression we get from the interviewer is that she wants the interviewee to know that she is in charge and is the only person asking the questions. This is shown in the first stanza when she immediately asks her questions, which shows she has a much more superior attitude than the interviewees – ‘You feel adequate to the demands of this position’. This shows from the start-off that the interviewer is in control and doesn’t show any manners to wait for a response but instead asks the next question.
The character of the interviewer develops into being rude and also she doesn’t pay attention to the interviewee’s emotions or feelings. She shows that she is rude when she questions their looks and abilities – ‘Find your appearance, disturbing?’ She also is more direct in asking questions and doesn’t hesitate of their reaction this is show hen she questions their accent – ‘And your accent that is the way you have always spoken, is it?’ This gives us the impression that she is insulting the speech of the interviewee.
The poet makes us think that the candidate is really weak and doesn’t show any sign of defending herself. Also, whenever the interviewer finishes asking a question she also replies for the candidates – ‘So glad we agree, Quite so.’ This shows that they are so powerless they can’t be able to answer for themselves. It also shows us that the interviewees seem that they don’t care about receiving criticism and do not have the power to stand up and respond.
The character of the candidate develops into being more weaker than she is already. She receives more and more criticism from the interviewer and never has the chance to respond due to the interviewers power – ‘What of your education? Where were you educated?’ This shows the interviewer is now not even giving the courtesy of a response and instead goes straight onto the next question, showing the interviewee’s lack of importance to her.
The control of power in this poem was in the hands of the interviewer in the beginning. As the poem continues her power gets stronger and stronger and becomes so strong that at a point you’d forget that the candidates are even present. By the end of the poem the interviewer still has all the power possible in the interview and uses it to great effect against the interviewees. I think the poets reasons for writing this poem is to show people that a person who is in a powerful enough position to make judgements of people can have even more power by showing it and using it to their advantage.