For the duration of “We are Seven,” the male speaker undermines the young girl’s outlook on mortality, which conveys his pessimistic and narrow-minded perspective on death. To begin, the speaker is highly dismissive towards the girl in questioning “A simple child … what should it know of death?” (Wordsworth 1-4). In this statement, the speaker establishes himself as the all-knowing adult, and subsequently depersonalizes and objectifies the young girl. Next, after havi...
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...e of seven siblings emphasizes her greater understanding of death, and the speaker’s lack thereof.
In “We are Seven,” Wordsworth uses perspectivism to highlight the varying notions of death through the eyes of an adult and a child, implying that the young girl’s joy and respect towards her deceased siblings makes her wiser than the adult speaker. Throughout the ballad, both characters quarrel over whether the girl should consider herself one of five siblings, or one of seven. In one sense, both the adult and child are correct in their respective methods of counting siblings. However, it is the young girl’s optimistic perspective on death which proves that though a child, her superior knowledge exceeds that of the adult. Through her clever understanding of death, the girl emphasizes the importance of remembrance – suggesting that you never lose the people you love.
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