The Cry Of The Children By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

1368 Words6 Pages
Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “The Cry of the Children” is a poignant look into the horrid practice of child labor that took place in the mines and factories of 1840’s industrial England. Browning paints such a vivid, disturbing picture that she aroused the conscience of the entire nation. A new historicist perspective into this poem will help understand why Browning decided to take a stand and speak up for these children through her work. The poem opens with,” Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers, ere the sorrow comes with years?” This one sentence embodies the whole work and does a good job drawing in the reader. Equally as important is the use of “O my brothers” as it relates to the intended audience, of which Elizabeth Browning is part of. That is the upper class. If the tone were one of reprimand for the treatment of children, instead one of a sense of shared guilt; it’s possible it may not have been so accepted by her peers. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was already a published poet at the time she wrote Cry of the Children in 1843. “In 1838, The Seraphim and Other Poems appeared, the first volume of Elizabeth 's mature poetry” (Everett, 1). If fact, Browning was said to have written poetry as early as age six. Her collection of poetry written during her childhood years is one of the largest of all English writers. One notable poem written when she was just fourteen was called The Battle of Marathon: A poem. This achievement at such a young age was possible
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