The Stolen Child: The Fairies

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Fairies in general have been known to be magical beings who grant wishes for humans. However, this is a recent idea of fairies. In general they have been known to be mischievous little beings that tease and twist the wishes of humans. The latter definition of fairies comes from the root of the word, Fatum. Fatum, in Latin, means illusion. Over time the word turned into the word Fay. Fay, used to in the name of a sorceress, meant: woman skilled in dark magic. The changing of the word did not change the meaning entirely since the idea of dark magic and trickery was always related to fairies. This definition of the fairies matches up with W. B Yeats' poem because the fairies would not tell the human child the good and the bad of both his world, and their world. The fairies in The Stolen Child are devious, untrustworthy beings because they do not give the child a fair choice between the two worlds and do not tell him the consequences. The first stanza describes the type of homes the fairies live in, compared to the child's world. In the very first lines of the first stanza Yeats has the fairies describe their land as a leafy green island. This is the fairies first arguments to convince the child that their world is more beautiful. One example of this is in the very beginning of the stanza: "There we've hid our faery vats full of berries, and of reddest stolen cherries." These lines tell the child that their world is full of many sweet things, things that he would not get nor find in his own world. However, in order to make their argument stronger they state that the world is full of more sorrow and horror than any other place. They also neglect the fact of telling the child the wonders of his own world. This shows that the fairies are not trustworthy since they do not give the child a fair chance to choose. In the second stanza the fairies once again try and
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