The Stolen Child by W.B. Yeats Essay

806 Words4 Pages
The Stolen Child by W.B. Yeats “The Stolen Child”, a poem by W.B. Yeats, can be analyzed on several levels. The poem is about a group of faeries that lure a child away from his home “to the waters and the wild”(chorus). On a more primary level the reader can see connections made between the faery world and freedom as well as a societal return to innocence. On a deeper and second level the reader can infer Yeats’ desire to see a unified Ireland of simpler times. The poem uses vivid imagery to establish both levels and leaves room for open interpretation especially with the contradictory last stanza. Nature and the land of the faeries present images of freedom throughout the first three stanzas. “There lies a leafy…show more content…
Yeats utilizes this myth to illustrate his desire for a return of innocence to society. When Ireland was primarily a pagan nation, before Catholicism and Protestantism, these myths were abundant. The image of a child, who has not yet come to realize the pains of the world, is “stolen” and brought to a world where freedom and innocence reign. Nothing can be more innocent than a child and the faeries are able to maintain that innocence through their child-like lifestyles. “Chasing frothy bubbles”(Stanza 2, line 9) and “over the young streams”(stanza 3, line 10) are both images that help portray the youthful faery world. As the reader looks deeper into the poem he/she might find alternate meanings behind the luring of the child. Yeats was a nationalist during a time of great political upheaval in Ireland. Nationalists wanted Ireland return to years before when Ireland was considered one nation. The Celtic images of the past could represent a desire to return to a time where Ireland was united. The freedom that the faery world allows is representative of the freedom that unity throughout Ireland allowed before religion and politics became large issues. Yeats purposely allows for interpretation throughout the poem especially within the last stanza. In the first three stanzas the world of the faeries is portrayed as wild and free while the world of the child

More about The Stolen Child by W.B. Yeats Essay

Open Document