My Parents by Stephen Spender Poem Analysis
The writer describes his feelings about the other kids that bully him in this poem. It gives you insight into what his life is like. It makes the reader have sympathy for the boy and It also shows you how it feels to be bullied, excluded and to have a lack of protection from parents at a young age.
The poet shows the lack of protection his parents gave him. He expresses this by showing how much he fears the boys because if he was protected he wouldn’t need to feel scared or afraid. He shows this by saying ”I feared them more than tigers” this emphasises how much he is scared of them. The poet uses tigers because tigers are big carnivorous animals and readers can easily identify why the boy would feel fear because most readers would be afraid of tigers. It also makes the reader feel empathy towards the boy, seeing as tigers can be terrifying, and to fear the boys more than tigers would be very scary. Another example of a lack of protection is ”threw words like stone”. This simile shows a lack of protection because his parents have been there to stop it or prevent any further encounters with the bullies from happening again. It also makes the reader annoyed and angry at the bullies for making the boy feel afraid and also at the same time at the parents for not doing anything to prevent it. However, there are also moments where the parents were trying to protect the poet.
In this phrase the poet shows how his parents were trying to protect him.” My parents kept me from children that were rough”. This suggests that the parents were trying to protect the boy. It implies that the writer was safe and protected from the bullies. The word “kept'' suggests that the parents made sure that he would never come across anybody rough. “Children that were rough” suggests the children are rude or maybe always trying to pick fights with others. The reason that the parents are trying to keep him away from “children that are rough” is so that he won’t get bullied by them or get some bad influences from them. It makes the reader happy that the parents are trying to protect their child but also feel bad for the boy because if his parents are keeping him away from rough children, he is being excluded.
The poet shows how the children excluded him from their group and how it affected him. “They copied my lisp behind me” this suggests that the boy is being excluded because the bullies are whispering and copying his lisp behind his back, this suggests because if he was being included they wouldn’t be making fun of him by copying his lisp or talking behind his back. After all, when you talk behind somebody back you excluding them from the conversation. Instead, they would be laughing, talking and playing together instead of making fun of him. Another example of him being excluded is when they throw mud while he looks the other way, pretending to smile. The use of the phrase “Pretending to smile” is significant because it shows that he is not happy that they threw mud at him and if he was included in their group he would be able to express his feelings or opinion on them throwing mud. However, because he is being excluded from their group he can’t express his feelings because they make fun of him. This makes you feel bad for the writer because he is being excluded. It also makes you feel angry at the other boys because they are excluding him from their groups and at the same time also bullying him.
The poem conveys that at a young age he was bullied and how it affects him. Evidence of him being bullied is ”Threw words like a stone”. This simile suggests that they shouted words at him that was painful. He used this phrase because it emphasizes how painful words can be and how the words affected him. It also helps give you an idea of how painful the words were because you can imagine how painful being thrown stones would feel like even if you have never been thrown stones. This phrase “Copied my lisp” suggests that the bullies are making fun of him and embarrassing him. This is a sign of bullying because the boy is uncomfortable and unhappy that they copied his lisp and this is bullying because the other boys did something that the poet didn’t like. This makes you annoyed at the bullies because they are making fun of him and also embarrassing him. It makes you feel bad for the boy because he doesn’t stand up for himself.
To conclude, the poet helps the reader understand what his life was like. It also expresses all the feelings he had when he was bullied, excluded and had a lack of protection from his parents. It makes you have sympathy for the writer because he had to endure all of this at a young age.