The Stolen Child By William Butler Yeats Essay

The Stolen Child By William Butler Yeats Essay

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In The Stolen Child, William Butler Yeats illustrates the supernatural world he has created by describing the romantic and peaceful scenarios. In this faery world, every creature shares a harmonious environment. Yeats introduces the beauty of nature in first three stanzas, while he returns to the situations of the modern society in the last stanza. For instance, the mice spin around because they do not have any available food to feed themselves, and human beings are anxious while they are sleeping. Compared with the complicated world of human beings, the faery world seems like the carefree and idealistic paradise.
Even though the child is stolen by the faery, this child can enjoy his life in the faery world created by Yeats, rather than suffering in the real world. Therefore, the behavior of the faery might out of generous intention. However, the “stolen” in the topic also suggests another kind of interpretation because “stolen” is a derogatory term. To some extent, Yeats expresses his uncertainty about the security of the faery world, although this poem is aimed to praise the returning of innocence. Neither Yeats himself or the reader knows whether this supernatural world is a better place for human beings to dwell. Throughout out the whole poem, his concerns hidden behind those peaceful and harmless appearances.
In the first stanza, Yeats points out the location of this isolated island, where “dips the rocky highland” (line 1), and close to “the waters and the wild” (line 10). This “leafy island” (line 3) is kind of the same as the Garden of Eden. There are full of vitality and there are few traces of human beings. In some sense, the coming of the child can be a form of invasion in term of physicality. Nonetheless, it is a...


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... to indicate the beauty of another world:”Come away, O human child! / To the waters and the wild/ With a faery, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand” (line 9-12, line24-27, line 38-41, and line 50-41). On the other hand, according to his description in the poem, this idealized paradise is not the same as the reader might dream of. It rather a dangerous place which is similar to the modern society. Worries and conflicts are hidden behind the alluring appearances. It is difficult to make a decision between the chaotic paradise with invisible dangers and the modern society with poverty and numerous troubles. Although Yeats expresses his longing for the childhood through various metaphors, to some extent, the poet also clearly acknowledge the truth that all of the wishes are the same as those “frothy bubbles” (line 21) are illusory.

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