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Analysis and comments on Manitoba Childe Roland by Carl Sandburg

Comment 7 of 7, added on April 14th, 2014 at 1:54 AM.
In “Childe Roland to

In “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” by Robert Browning, it is
difficult to say wethehr Childe Roland is a representation of a failure or
not because his journey seemed doomed to fail from the very beginning of
the poem. The title of the poem informs the reader that the hero is a man
yet to be knighted. Browning does not present him in an ideal manner or
describe him as a superior being of any kind. Our first impression of
Childe Roland is one of paranoia as he expects the old man giving direction
to be a fraud and take pleasure in his lies. We immediately doubt that he
will fulfill his quest when he takes direction from the man who he
previously deemed a liar. He continued on in the direction the old man
pointed while doubting his honesty, “Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he
pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried” (lines
15-17).Childe Roland’s quest involves traveling through a wasteland, a
setting Browning fills with images of death and desolation, “Such starved
ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers as well expect a cedar
grove!” (Lines 56-57). Browning’s graveyard setting doesn’t allow for
hope that Childe Roland will succeed in his journey. We don’t fully
believe that the obstacles which he encounters are real. Other dramatic
monologues such as “Porphyria’s Lover” and “My Last Duchess”
Browning ask his audience to question the psyche of the protagonist. In
“Porphyria’s Lover” our hero murders Porphyria for reasons that are
not apparent, but likely because of her female sexual desires. In “My
Last Duchess” we learn the duke murdered his late wife because of her
flirtatious nature. Having knowledge of Browning’s attempts to explore
the sadistic minds of murderers in other dramatic monologues, it makes us
suspicious of Childe Roland’s mental state. Although Childe Roland does
not explicitly murder a woman in his dialogue, we still wonder wethehr he
is fully sane or not. Many hardships that he faces could be figments of our
hero’s imagination as he wanders through a wasteland looking for the Dark
Tower which the reader knows nothing about. Although the ending of the poem
is rather ambiguous, it is unlikely that Childe Roland is successful.

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Information about Manitoba Childe Roland

Poet: Carl Sandburg
Poem: 21. Manitoba Childe Roland
Volume: Cornhuskers
- Cornhuskers
Year: 1918
Added: Feb 4 2004
Viewed: 3862 times


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