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Language and structure in 'Little Boy Crying'

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Introduction

Comment on the poet's language and structure to ideas in one of the following: 'Little Boy Crying', 'Caged Bird' and 'Carpet Weavers-Morocco' In 'Little Boy Crying', Mervyn Morris describes the punishing of a boy by his father. The poet raises and develops key ideas throughout the poem, depicted by the language and structure used in the poem. Techniques such as enjambment and metaphors help Mervyn Morris to develop these ideas, and the audience can develop a general idea of the message the poet is trying to deliver. Mervyn Morris utilizes metaphors and other poetic devices to expand on his ideas. One of the key ideas that Mervyn Morris suggests is how a child may not always be innocent, but can be manipulative as well. The main line that shows us this is line 6, 'You stand there angling for a moment's hint of guilt or sorrow'. The word 'angling' shows that the boy is waiting for a response from his father. ...read more.

Middle

This means that the boy is able to manipulate the father, as he knows that the father wants to console him and he adds further pain to the father by crying. Another way the boy's manipulation is shown is in line 15, where we can see that the boy's tears are not entirely genuine, 'The hurt your easy tears can scald him with'. This shows that the boy knows that crying will help him to get a response from his father, and the boy starts crying easily, showing the boys manipulation again. The poet also shows us that the child is manipulating the father by manipulating the reader as well. In the last line, 'You must not make a plaything of the rain' the poet makes it seem as if the only reason the boy was crying was because he was playing in the rain, but there are obviously deeper implications. ...read more.

Conclusion

The father is immediately pained by the child's tears in line 15, 'The hurt your easy tears can scald him with'. This shows that the boy's crying hurts the father, and the word 'scald' shows that the father's guilt for not consoling the child is turned into physical pain. We can also see that the father is also pained by having to not console the child so that his child will benefit as line 19 says, 'But dare not ruin the lessons you should learn'. This shows that the father is willing to suffer so that his child can learn the lesson. The love the father conveys here enforces the idea of the bond between father and son. Mervyn Morris uses a variety of poetic devices and utilizes the structure of the poem to help him to expand upon the ideas of a manipulative child and a strong bond between father and son. These ideas are developed throughout the poem and the reader can attain a strong idea on what Mervyn Morris is trying to say in Little Boy Crying. By: Marcus Chang 10M ...read more.

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