Stevie Smith To Carry The Child Analysis

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In Stevie Smith’s narrative poem To Carry the Child, he writes the experience of a resentful child towards his parent and their overprotective tendencies. The theme of this poem is the dependence a child can have toward others, and how others influence that reliance. The use of the word “carry” creates an image of a child being carried through life instead of learning to walk. With the child being held in someone’s arms, there is no opportunity to trip and fall, step into a puddle or make mistakes that can be learned from. To demonstrate, a simple task such as walking should be relatively safe, but when a parent insists on carrying the child instead of allowing them to learn to walk, their growth is stunted. Smith’s poem aggrandizes the results of children who do not have enough life experience as a result of overprotective parental behaviors. In the first stanza, Smith introduces a question and begins to answer it (Smith 1-4). Is it okay to “carry” a child into their adult life? Lines 3 and 4 write that carrying a child up until they are an adult “Is to be handicapped.” This concern becomes a handicap when the child has grown into an adult and is expected to know how to perform simple tasks, such as laundry, cleaning a room, setting doctor’s appointments, paying bills or managing a bank account. These adult tasks are thrust upon this “child” all at once, only overwhelming this grown-up who does not know how to do them correctly. The second stanza elaborates and

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