Comparing the Adult World with a Child's Perception in Snowdrops Essay

Comparing the Adult World with a Child's Perception in Snowdrops Essay

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Comparing the Adult World with a Child's Perception in Snowdrops

Through a child's eyes, the significance of death and all that
surrounds it is somewhat different from the reality. 'Snowdrops' is
narrated by a boy of the age of six, who actively takes note of the
everyday happenings or abnormalities around him but who is not yet old
enough or learned enough to associate these with the feelings and
responsibilities of adults.

One cold March morning (note that the cold weather is significant as
it deliberately outlines the community's feelings about the young
man's death) the boy overhears his parents talking about a death at
breakfast time. His father enters the room and "fills it with
bigness", emphasising the seemingly superior position of adults in the
view of a child. The boy's father tells his family of the incident in
which the boy, whose family they are in contact with, lost his life.
He claims that "the Meredith boy" was "friendly" with one of the
teachers at his son's school. Without the boy realising, his mother
has to warn his father not to give away too much information - the
teacher involved is the boy's own class teacher and the mother intends
to protect her son from the realisation. Luckily, their son fails to
make the connection from his father's mispronunciation of the
teacher's surname ("Webber") to his own teacher, Miss Webster. This is
an example of the adult world - parents having to look forward in
advance to keep their young children protected.

It becomes apparent to the reader that the boy is besotted with the
idea of his teacher having promised to take the class to see the
newly-sprung spring snowdrops....


... middle of paper ...


...ther would clearly have
liked to go to the Meredith boy's funeral, but cannot because of work
commitments. This is the same for Miss Webster, who as the boy's
girlfriend should have been at the funeral; but knew that her class
would be disappointed as she had promised to take them to see the
snowdrops. She could not afford to break down in front of her class
for fear of upsetting them as well as herself. In the adult world, the
men and women have to fight with their pain and their needs, in order
to protect the children. For the children, even though there are many
different things going on around them, they are innocent and
protected, and so do not notice that anything is wrong. Adults are
faced with the harsh reality of deaths and sacrifices for others, but
the children are not yet knowledgeable enough to understand.

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