How does Morris explore child/ parent relationship in the Little Boy Crying?

Essay by ff15117High School, 10th gradeA, August 2008

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The poem, “Little Boy Crying”, written by Mervyn Morris is mainly about father and son’s relationship. Poet shows the two main themes through this relationship; father’s love towards his child and his effort to lead his child into a right world in life. Mervyn Morris explores the child and parent’s relationship by using second person narration and language techniques such as allusion and emotive words. The important messages behind the poem are: parents love us and they will do anything to lead us to the right way.

In the first stanza, the poet describes a boy who is very relaxed at first but he gets very tense with the father’s punishment. “Your laughter metamorphosed into howls” in the first stanza shows the change of the mood for the boy with his father’s scold. “With three year old frustration, your bright eyes swimming tears, splashing your bare feet” in the first stanza is described from the father’s view (using second person narrative) and he sees it as a wrong behavior and slaps the boy, causing the boy to tear.

But the father does know the son’s feelings when he is slapped; it is just the three year old boy’s emotion. “You stand there angling for a moment’s hint of guilt or sorrow for the quick slap struck”, shows that father is hiding his guilt of hitting his child and boy is looking for any evidence that, his father feels guilty for hitting him. This stanza tells the reader that father slapped the boy not with anger but with love to make his boy go to the right direction in life.

Stanza two is from the boy’s point of view. Using allusion, the poet let the boy imagine revenge upon his father. In this stanza, the boy regards his father as...