Idk Lamo Essay

545 WordsJan 29, 20143 Pages
When I was six years old the one thing in the world that scared me the most was pirates, but when my mom told me they were really just silly scalawags who roamed the seas in search of adventure and gold, my perspective changed. She softened the truth so that my childhood fears wouldn’t keep me from enjoying Disneyland and soon all I could think about was becoming a pirate myself. Looking back, my mother’s explanation was a tool used to influence my behavior. In comparing “The Barred Owl” by Wilbur and “The History Teacher” by Collins each poet incorporates their own literary devices to show just how easily young children can be influenced. Ignorance plays a large part in Billy Collins’ poem as he tells the story of this naive history teacher and his students. Unlike Wilbur’s poem, Collins’ use of irony clearly reveals that the bullies on the playground are doomed to repeat history because they know nothing about the past. For example, “the children would leave his classroom for the playground to torment the weak and the smart...” this quote shows the ironic comparison between the bullies and the knowledge of past events. (lines13-15) Another ironic situation is the history teacher’s idea that his students are still innocent and in need of protection. Collins also uses juxtaposition within his poem to highlight the theme of ignorance between his students and people in the past. This comparison reinforces his ideas about the importance of not being ignorant to history’s lessons, right up to the end as the teacher walks home amidst “flower beds and white picket fences,” completely unaware of his influence on the children. (line 18) In contrast to Collins’ poem, Richard Wilbur wrote “A Barred Owl” to show how lying to children can sometimes yield its own benefits. His use of assonance gives off a more calm tone than that of “The History Teacher.” The

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