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Analysis and comments on Boy at the Window by Richard Wilbur

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Comment 21 of 121, added on November 13th, 2010 at 1:09 PM.

what are the key literary elements in this poem, i know that there is
personification and allusion and imagery. is there anyothers?

Comment 20 of 121, added on May 4th, 2010 at 3:51 AM.
Ap literature

This is my understanding of the poem. There is more that I haven't caught i
am sure, there always is. :)

Seeing the snowman standing all alone
(The boy sees the snowman as sad and alone)
In dusk and cold is more than he can bear.
(“cold” and “dusk” have negative connotations showing the boys
The small boy weeps to hear the wind prepare
A night of gnashings and enormous moan.
(“gnashings” means to grind teeth in pain.)
His tearful sight can hardly reach to where
The pale-faced figure with bitumen eyes
(“pale-faced” gives an image of illness that we relate to the world)
Returns him such a God-forsaken stare
As outcast Adam gave to paradise.
(This is a biblical reference to Adam and Eve. They were happy before they
gave into temptation and chose another life. This can be compared to the
boy and the snowman, if they lived they lived the others life, they would
be unhappy or die)

The man of snow is, nonetheless, content,
Having no wish to go inside and die.
(The snowman can only live in his world because he would die otherwise.)
Still, he is moved to see the youngster cry.
Though frozen water is his element,
(Frozen water is his comfort, but seeing the young boy cry makes him feel
pity for the boy.)
He melts enough to drop from one soft eye
A trickle of the purest rain, a tear
For the child at the bright pane surrounded by
Such warmth, such light, such love, and so much fear.

As the boy fears the for the snowman’s life the snowman pities the boy for
the boy’s life. They both misunderstand and have a different perception of
each others life. This also shows that we can only live our own lives, and
not completely understand other’s lives.

Don't just use this though. interpret the poem for yourselves, you'll get
more out of it.

Helen S. from United States
Comment 19 of 121, added on September 6th, 2009 at 10:40 AM.

how can the theme be perception and misinterpretation, perhaps
none of those is a complete idea
theyre all simply topics
now i need to write a reflection for english class
can someone word a good theme for me?

err naa from Thailand
Comment 18 of 121, added on May 19th, 2009 at 6:05 PM.

There is an important religious allusion in line 7-8. Adam is refering to
Adam and Eve and the temptations he faced from the devil. They both had a
good life until the snake tempted them. After that, his life was filled
with pain and corruption. Similarly, the boy and snowman are both
satisfied, unless they choose the other life.

Comment 17 of 121, added on May 17th, 2009 at 10:01 PM.

I like the poem, his use of rhyming helps convey his message of

Schlomo from Israel
Comment 16 of 121, added on April 22nd, 2009 at 3:02 PM.

This poem is about the loss of innocence. The boy is afraid of what lies
ahead and does not want to grow up. The cold refers to the harsh
"real-world". The snowman sees that the boy is being sheltered and kept
from reality. He knows that the cold is fine and is nothing to fear. He
pities the boy because while the boy has it good, he does not see the world
for what it is, good and bad.

Kim from United States
Comment 15 of 121, added on March 27th, 2009 at 12:45 PM.

Hey i liked this poem, but theire something that i don't understand, our
englisj teacher talk religion in this poeme but i don't see the link... can
somebody help me?

Kevin from Canada
Comment 14 of 121, added on February 23rd, 2009 at 7:49 PM.


SANTIAGO from United States
Comment 13 of 121, added on December 18th, 2008 at 5:08 AM.

hi i really liked the duality of the poem. the poem clearly shows how our
sympathetic feelings towards others can be perilous if we don't consider
their situation as it is.the last two lines, however, show the loneliness
of man in an industrial world where everything seems -and only seems-

Reza from Iran
Comment 12 of 121, added on May 14th, 2008 at 1:42 PM.

Studying this for Higher English here in bonny Scotland. Our class has
analysed this poem and have come to the conclusion that the theme is
perception and misinterpretation, perhaps misunderstanding. The boy is
unneccessarily sad to see the snowman outside alone in the cold and storm.
The snowman is worried about the boy being surrounded bu "such warmth, such
light and so much fear". Each thinks the other is in a dangerous situation,
the snowman thinks the boy is going to melt in the heat and the boy thinks
the snowman is going to die of cold out in the storm. It is a lesson to
make us realise that everything we see in another's situation may not be as
it seems, and we must try to put ourselves in others' shoes before we make
judgements on others and how they are living

Janice Brough from United Kingdom

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Information about Boy at the Window

Poet: Richard Wilbur
Poem: Boy at the Window
Added: Apr 28 2005
Viewed: 21372 times

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