In the poem “Boy at the Window,” Richard Wilbur uses imagery, tone, and theme to show what his purpose in this poem is. At the end of the poem, the author wants the reader to understand that we should not feel bad or sad about something that we don’t understand. Richard Wilbur’s use of imagery in the poem helps us to understand his purpose of this poem. The stanzas in the poem paint two completely pictures in your head when you read them.
The first stanza makes you see the snowman as a blue object that is always lonely.
The second stanza paints the picture of the snowman’s view of the little child who is sad about something that he does not understand. In the first stanza, the poem is showing how the little boy sees the snowman “standing all alone” and “returns him such a Godforsaken stare”. The little boy sees the snowman as lonely and creates a depressing image of the snowman in your head.
In the second stanza, you hear the snowman’s view of the little child in the window and how the little boy does not understand. The snowman is shown as sad in the second stanza, but not because the little boy does not understand that the snowman is happy outside.
It is because the little boy should not be sad when he is warm inside his home, surrounded by love, but yet so frightened and moved about the snowman being alone (“such warmth, such light, such love, and so much fear”). So the author creates a really great sense of imagery throughout the poem because of how you see the snowman at first, then the picture in your head changes when you hear the other side of the story. The author also had a great tone throughout this poem as he shows us his purpose and his theme that people should not be sad or fear something if they do not understand it.
The tones of the stanzas vary or differ when you go from to the second stanza. In the first stanza, the tone is sad or deeply upset because of the word choice that the poet uses. When the boy “weeps”, you get the feeling of sadness and that the boy is not happy. Also, the child’s sight is described as “tearful” and his reach described as “hardly”; which are words used to describe saddening events. The snowman is seen as a “pale-faced” figure and is compared to the “outcast Adam”. These words are not used to describe a happy or content situation, and they are describing a sad view of a snowman.
In the second stanza, the tone is happier, but not completely joyous or happy. The snowman is “nonetheless, content” so he is not sad being outside or being all alone. The snowman’s eye is seen as “soft” and his tear is seen as “a trickle of the purest rain”. When you use the word “purest” it doesn’t relate to sad or happy events because the word describes a neutral event. The poet creates a great tone throughout the entire poem, which is sad for the first stanza and kind of neutral for the second stanza.
Using imagery, tone, and theme throughout the poem “Boy at the Window”, Richard Wilbur shows that you shouldn’t feel bad or get upset about something that you do not understand. The author’s use of imagery in the poem is what paints a wonderful picture in your head as you read, and that helps you to understand the author’s purpose. Tone plays a big role in the poem also because of the way you get to hear the different sides to the story and how that impacts the author’s purpose and how it’s portrayed. This poem was very well written and did a very good job of using literary elements to portray the author’s purpose and the theme.
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