Innocence and Experience
Once the baby is brought out of the warm space that they called home for nine months, they are exposed to this beautiful nightmare. How long after a hill is brought into this world will their innocence last? How long will it take for a human being to experience something that causes them to lose all innocence? Innocence is a characteristic of life that is slowly taken away by experience, Just like how in Gerard Manley Hopkins poem, Spring and Fall, the cool winds of fall strip the trees of their leaves, leaving them bare for everyone to see.
The entirety of the poem Is all about Innocence and experience and how they Interact with each other. The first few lines of the poem say, “Margaret are you grieving Over Goldenrod unleavened Leaves Like the things of man, you With your fresh thoughts care for, can you? ” Margaret is sad that fall has come and blown all the leaves off the trees. She cares just as much about a small issue like leaves falling off trees as she does large problems of man. She is just a child thinking innocent thoughts, but throughout the poem, this simple thought turns into an experience.
Later in the poem Hopkins writes, “Ah! As the heart grows older It will come to such sights colder By and by, nor spare a sigh. ” Hopkins explains In these lines that as Margaret grows older, she won’t be sad that the trees lost their leaves. She would have had an experience that caused her to lose he Innocence she once had as a child. In the last two lines of Spring and Fall, Hopkins explains how the sources of sadness are the same for everyone no matter how young or old.
He writes, “It is the blight man was born for, It is Margaret you mourn for. ” The ending of this poem is tragic, but explains the loss of innocence perfectly. In the end, Margaret, being a child, thinks she’s crying over the fallen leaves, but in reality, she is crying over her own mortality and how she is going to die one day. For Margaret, watching the leaves fall off the trees was an experience that took her innocence and made her realize that death Is Inevitable.
Spring and Fall Is a lot Like George Rowel’s story, Shooting an Elephant. In Shooting an Elephant, George said, “Evidently there was something that the children ought not to have seen. I rounded the hut and saw a man’s dead body sprawling In the mud” (823. ) The children in the story and Margaret both think about death and the children actually saw a dead body.
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