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Analysis Little Boy Crying

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"Little Boy Crying" By Mervyn Morris Your mouth contorting in brief spite and Hurt, your laughter metamorphosed into howls, Your frame so recently relaxed now tight With three-year-old frustration, your bright eyes Swimming tears, splashing your bare feet, You stand there angling for a moment's hint Of guilt or sorrow for the quick slap struck. The ogre towers above you, that grim giant, Empty of feeling, a colossal cruel, Soon victim of the tale's conclusion, dead At last. You hate him, you imagine Chopping clean the tree he's scrambling down Or plotting deeper pits to trap him in. You cannot understand, not yet, The hurt your easy tears can scald him with, Nor guess the wavering hidden behind that mask. This fierce man longs to lift you, curb your sadness With piggy-back or bull-fight, anything, But dare not ruin the lessons you should learn. You must not make a plaything of the rain. Contort Twisted, Screwed up Metamorphosed Inevitable change Howl shriek, cry, wail Splashing spattering, wet Ogre Monster Grim harsh Colossal Huge, Gigantic Scrambling down Rushing down Scald Injury Wavering Hesitation Curb Restrain, hold back, control "Little Boy Crying" 'A quick slap struck' causes the child to learn, in Mervyn Morris' Little Boy Crying. ...read more.


The short sounds and the meaning of the word 'tight', now cause the reader to associate this with rigidity and tension. The sudden change in sound and meaning therefore serves to emphasize, the rapid change that the child is unable to understand.Morris quickly uses an ironic phrase in the next line with, 'With three year old frustration'. The irony comes from the association of frustration with work and the life of a middle-aged adult. The irony serves to lessen the effect of the rapid change that has troubled our character. We are led, in the following enjambment (in verse, the continuation of the of a sentence beyond the end of the line) effected phrase 'your bright swimming tears', further showing the unpreparedness of the three-year-old for the 'Quick slap struck', which Mervyn Morris later describes with the aid of alliteration and monosyllabic language, that has the effect of enhancing the swiftness of the blow. The poet then uses structuralism and fictional reference to amplify the differences between the world views of the boy and his father. In 'The ogre towers above you, that grim giant'; the use of the word 'you', puts the reader in the shoes of the boy, invoking memories and possibly a slight pathos. ...read more.


Momentarily the reader is presented with the idea that this hate maybe both premature and temporary. The words easy tears in the next stanza serve to propagate (spread) the effect of the first stanza's description of the boy's tears as in 'swimming tears splashing your bare feet'. The consonance of S in both cases serves to emphasize the easy flow of the words as they flow into one another, emulating (following) a flow of water. Morris then sharply contradicts the water in 'easy tears' with burning heat in the hard sound of 'scald', in addition to its meaning of burning pain. Therefore, I think Morris is trying to actuate the idea of immense love behind the father, that is partially causing this 'quick slap struck', a phrase that I think epitomizes (exemplifies) the father's love. The final comparison of 'rain' to the child's tears and 'plaything' to the 'piggy back or bullfight' with which the father wishes to 'curb your (the boy's) sadness'.Morris masterfully puts across the idea of learning from negative experiences by putting it in terms of a child's experiences. We must not cast aside negativities of life, but grow. Not spoil the lessons we should learn. ...read more.

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