The Poem ' The Above Poem, By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

1788 Words Dec 9th, 2016 8 Pages
The above poem, by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, describes a little girl with opposing behaviors, with the poet using her negative behavior is the focal point of the poem. The poem continues on and in the final stanza it describes the corporeal punishment that the little girl is given due to her behaviors. This illustrates that as far back as the nineteenth century, childhood behaviors were present within family environments which were treated with responding parental anger and punishment. During this early era, the profession of psychology had little interest in childhood disorders, dismissing them as a moral or discipline issue. Described by Joseph Rey and his collaborators as a “badness rather than madness” (Rey et al., 2016), these children were subjected to retributions and social marginalization, the “village idiot” for example could have been a child who was experiencing an unrecognized learning disorder.
It wasn’t until childhood was recognized as a separate and equally important phase of development did childhood disorders begin to appear in Psychiatry manuals and training. Childhood disorders began to appear in psychiatric manuals around the turn of the 19th century. This is the time in which doctors would have begun to see the little girl’s behaviors as a symptom of something physiologically or chemically imbalanced within her, not simply dismissed her as horrid.
Disorders of Childhood
Modern psychology has recognized that childhood is a crucial…
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