Name: Salman Rafi
Date: 13th May, 09
“Child is the father of Man”
Wordsworth wrote a poem The Rainbow and left behind a very famous saying that “child is the father of man.” This statement has been interpreted by various critics in various ways. For Wordsworth, it is important because a child is spiritually very elevated. He has a direct link with nature. He says that a child is a symbol of purity and innocence which remains untarnished until he grows up and gets engaged in worldly affairs. Wordsworth thinks a child is more akin to nature. His orderliness and acts have hidden meanings although he himself may be unaware of it. He thinks that childhood period is the ground or the basis of man’s personality. Childhood experiences form one’s personality and they reflect what a child is going to be. Another school of thought says about this statement that “a child is a potential man.” He develops his most of qualities in childhood period which gradually help him in becoming a mature person. Even modern psychology says that man’s personality gets complete in early age of his life. So, child is the father of man for many reasons. A Child is more innocent and pure, more spiritual and has direct link with nature. This period of life provides basis for the coming periods of life as well. So, this is the most significant period of life. However, I am going to justify the statement, “A Child is father of Man” in various ways and will elaborate how child is the father of man. Wordsworth has both idealized and idolized childhood. His personality was very much affected by his childhood experiences with nature. Therefore, he emphasizes Rafi 2
spiritual side of childhood and attaches much importance to this period of life. In his famous “Immortality Ode”, he shows incredible tribute for the child and calls him: Best philosopher……
Mighty prophet! And seer bless.
The poet feels that a child...