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Discuss ways in which Yeats presents freedom and escapism in The Stolen Child

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Introduction

Discuss ways in which Yeats presents freedom and escapism in ?The Stolen Child? Yeats? ?The Stolen Child? presents a world where faeries encourage escapism and promote a sense of freedom in their own world, suggesting to the ?child? in the poem to escape to their own mystical ?leafy island?, akin to being in a dream, far away from the child?s actual world that is ?full of weeping?. The first stanza immediately indicates the setting as a far away, remote place, stating that it is ?where dips a rocky highland?, and there ?[lying] a leafy island?, a large emphasis placed on nature in order to create a feeling of freedom and escapism that the ?child? in the text is enticed with. Yeats describes how the ?faeries? attempt to make this mystical place more enticing to the child by describing the faeries as having their own ?faery vats, full of berries, and of reddest stolen cherries?, bold red as indication to the faeries? world being entirely different from the world that the child lives in, and how the faeries could bring escape into the child?s life and allow the child to experience the world away from normality, evidenced by the faeries in their constant drone to ?Come away, O human child! ...read more.

Middle

Yeats presents the ideas of escapism as ideas that are powerful, likening these feelings to ?the wandering water [gushing]?, powerful and raw in its nature, with reference to his own Irish background and childhood, referring to ?the hills above Glen-car?. Nature plays a prominent role in Yeats? imagining of freedom and escapism; the faeries that attempt to tempt the child to escaping into their world frequently refer to the serene images of the moonlight ?[glossing] the dim grey sand?, or ?in pools among the rushes?, where one can be away from human interference, only experiencing nature in its pure form. The poet also indicates how freedom and escapism can become enticing, and suggests that people may possibly be susceptible to the temptation of reaching for this freedom and chance to escape from their own lives, upon seeing the dream-like and magical nature of it. The constant temptation and will to seek this freedom is expressed within the faerie?s own drone; the constant call for the child to ?Come away?, and escape into ?the waters and the wild?hand in hand?, far away from the child?s own world, the wish to move onto another part of life. ...read more.

Conclusion

that he becomes ?solemn-eyed? upon the loss of the ?normal? routine of life, and that in fact perhaps it is more right to be thankful for the normality that we already have in life, rather than always seeking a seemingly better option for ourselves. The final drone in the last stanza emphasises this, with a sudden shift in tone and the faeries no longer directly addressing the child, the dream of escapism and freedom clearly not happy and dream-like as it was described by the faeries. ?The Stolen Child? presents the ideas of how many people, such as the child in the text are often tempted by the ideas of being able to ?break free? from their own daily lives, and escape into a new world which may be completely different, and in doing so possibly bring a sense of joyfulness, with Yeats suggesting how the faeries? world was full of nature and powerful imagery. However, he also indicates that despite the enticing nature of freedom, it may not always necessarily be what brings us comfort, and instead sometimes we may possibly be better off being content with our own daily lives which we have grown accustomed to. ...read more.

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