Comparison of Ballad of the Bread Man and Innocent's Song Essay

3589 Words 15 Pages
Comparison of Ballad of the Bread Man and Innocent's Song by
Charles Causley and Journey of the Magi by T. S. Eliot

The subject matter of "Ballad of the Bread Man" is the religious story of the birth, life and death of Jesus. It has all the main events of the traditional story but it is done in a modern style. The meaning of the story remains but most of the particulars have changed. For instance in the poem a "bishop", "five start general", and a "head of an African country" represent the kings.

Charles Causley has bought the story up to date so it appeals to people living today, especially younger people. Children might not understand the Bible version of the story so Charles Causley has made it more accessible and
…show more content…
The bread is a symbol of Jesus' kindness and generosity that was so cruelly ignored.

Charles Causley changes a lot of the facts of the story, without changing the moral and message. He uses words such as "newspaper",
"TV", "election" that were obviously not present at the time of the original story. When reading the Bible version it is sometimes hard to think it was not set in a different world to the one today. So he uses these modern words so people living today will be able to identify with the story.

When he says "bullet-proof limousine" I don't think he is just using it for modernisation though. I think Charles Causley is implying that the kings were protected and safe in their journey, almost in an evil way. It signifies they have nothing in common with the people they are reigning over. It is also in contrast to how vulnerable Jesus is.

The tone of the poem is amusing at the beginning. Causley uses humour in his poetry, which I believe again is to appeal to children. He creates images of God "sitting in his big blue chair", Gabriel "in the shiny gear" and of the neighbours gossiping that Mary has been "up to no good". These are funny because it is looking at the story from a new perspective. Before reading the poem you have not thought of it in this way. It brings another layer to the traditional story.

There are small undertones of negativity that
Open Document