"Little Boy Crying" by Mervyn Morris

Essay by dorakhy September 2007

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Everyone on earth must have childhood experience. It is usual that when a child is scolded or beaten by his parents, he doesn’t understand why he is punished in most of the time. However, the child must feel sad, painful or even angry and hateful hen he is being scolded or beaten.

In ‘Little Boy Crying’, the persona slaps his son because he has been playing in the rain. The emotion of the son contrasts significantly, before he’s playing happily the next minute he’s howling desperately. ‘Hurt, your laughter metamorphosed into howls.’ Indeed, the boy feels hurt when his father slaps him. ‘Hurt’ is repeated in the poem to emphasize the boy’s feeling. He doesn’t understand why his father slaps him, he describes his father as ‘the ogre’, ‘empty of feeling’, ‘colossal cruel’. Usually the boys think someone who cause them pain as a monster, because monsters hurt children and cause them pain in fairy tales.

The poem is a free verse. Free verse is used because actually the father is struggling. The father loves his son very much that he rather slaps him but dare not to ruin the important lesson. ‘This fierce man longs to lift you, curb your sadness’ shows the father really wants to comfort his son. The other example showing that the father really cares his son is the poem includes a mixture of run-on line and end-stop lines, since they represent the crying sequence of the boy, stop and start crying uncontrollably. ‘The hurt your easy tears can scald him with’ proves that the father feels his son’s pain when he slaps him and when he sees his son crying desperately and innocently, since he doesn’t understand why he is being scolded by his father.

Diction used to emphasize the sadness of the...