2. A typical fear in life is the fear of the unknown, of what may lie ahead. This fear is no better seen than in society’s repeated attempts to stop the aging process; wrinkle creams, face lifts, anti-aging minerals: as a society, Americans will do anything and everything to keep from aging so quickly, thereby adding a few years of youth to their lives. Why is there such a fascination with staying young? Perhaps it is because of an intense, underlying fear that haunts many: the fear of death. Or, perhaps, it is the fear of becoming unattractive and, thus, unlovable. Whatever the reason, for many, the prospect of aging, of growing older, is feared, despised, and resisted. Since literature reflects the thoughts and fears of the American culture, the theme of aging is a common one. Randall Jarrell’s “Next Day” and Elizabeth Bishop’s “In the Waiting Room” both question the aging process, although from different points of view, Jarrell’s poem from the view of a middle-aged woman and Bishop’s poem from the view of a seven-year-old girl. Write an essay in which you compare and contrast both personas’ views of the aging process. When analyzing each poem’s comment on aging, some points you should consider are (1) how the personas feel about their present age, (2) why this is a point of fear for them, and (3) if or how they escape this fear.