Comparing and Contrasting the Children in Susan Skinner's 'the Minnow Catching Boys' and 'My Parents Kept Me from Cildren Who Were Rough' by Stephen Spender

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  • Topic: Bullying, Breeches, Stephen Spender
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  • Published : March 26, 2013
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Comparing and Contrasting the children in Susan Skinner’s ‘The Minnow Catching Boys’ and ‘My Parents Kept Me from Children who were Rough’ by Stephen Spender.

In this essay I am going to discuss ‘The Minnow Catching Boys’ by Susan Skinner and ‘My Parents kept me from Children who were Rough’ by Stephen Spender. I will focus on the similarities and differences between the children in the poems in terms of their actions, the language used to describe them and their impact on the reader. ‘The Minnow Catching Boys’ is a poem about a group of boys who very skillful and adventurous. ‘My Parents kept me from children who were rough’ is also about a group of boy bullies who really torture others a lot and play rough.

The children in ‘The Minnow Catching Boys’ are described as skillful and the outdoor-type boys. This poem is based on a Victorian/older lifetime according to its facts; Boys nowadays play video games and are interested in technology or sports. This also refers to the quote “the sun burnt boys’ which means that sunscreen was not invented. I would imagine them as scruffy boys wearing a shirt with a waistcoat and knee breeches (knee length shorts from older times); all dull colours and by looking back it says ‘Breeches rolled’. The children are in a focused, competitive mood, as said in the poem, ‘Scan and dip’ as well as ‘they make bets poke and tip, their nimble catch’. ‘For they have always been here the minnow catching boys.’ makes me think that this competitive hobby has been passed down from many generations. ‘…….. And when they have had enough, the minnow catching boys make their way home’ makes me think these boys are very carefree. I thought quotes like ‘………. And a small girl who can never quite catch up calls for them to wait, but no one waits’ give me a feeling that these boys are mean and cruel or maybe just in a rush. The quote ‘ The dog shakes off in a cascade of diamonds’ is one of the most striking pieces of imagery for me because it...
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