Discuss the Ways in Which Elizabeth Barrett Browning Dramatizes the Voices of the Young Who Were Exploited and Oppressed During Victorian Era
English and Literature
Submitted By nishanielsen2014
Elizabeth Barrett Browning dramatizes the voices of the young children, who were exploited and troubled during the Victorian Era in the poem The Cry Of The Children (1843). She does this by using a variation of techniques in a narrative lyric ballad genre, a thematic structure and uses imaginary, similes, metaphors, symbolism and descriptive language. The poem is about the way children in the Victorian Era were put in for exploitative labour and Browning’s intention for the poem is to adopt the voice of the nation’s conscience.
One of the themes that Browning uses is Freedom and slavery. In this she uses imagery, irony and rhetoric speech making a context point of view. When she talks about freedom and slavery as a theme, she uses irony because as England is a free country and the way that the children were used, she speaks up about it.
‘And the children’s souls, which God is calling sunward’ The quotation uses a lot of symbolism, it is also quite a positive point but also negative. She talks about God and heaven but also uses the line to talk about the death and how the children only want to die and that they will go to heaven. When she uses these kinds of speech it makes the readers almost feel negative. She makes her point of view very straightforward to try to make those who where in the upper class in that era to understand the things that children from the age of the time that they are actually able to do things.
Another theme that Browning uses is heaven and hell, which similarly has to do with Christian Virtue and Christian Hypocrisy, when she writes about it she uses symbolism and religious lexis. What Browning was trying to state to her audience is that factory’s in her era, were using young innocent children for slavery and free labor. Her message was that the children were innocent; that they didn’t know about heaven or hell, the children were...