“Growing up is ultimately a choice we make”
Both ‘Picture of Childhood’ by Yevgeny Yevtushenko and ‘To a Child Dancing in the Wind’ by W.B. Yeats, demonstrate the loss of innocence within children as they grow up. The hardships children face throughout their lives force them to grow up and conform, leaving their innocence behind. The persona in the poem ‘Picture of Childhood’ did not lose his innocence, but his friends did due to conformity, they did the ‘manly’ thing and joined the fight, and the young persona in ‘To a Child Dancing in the Wind’ has not yet lost their innocence either, but she is told “What need have you to care”, “What need have you to dread”, you are young, you have yet nothing to be afraid of... other than growing up.
In ‘Picture of Childhood’ the tone shift between the first and second stanza is a key pressure point which starts the theme of the persona not losing his innocence, it is shown with the fear and conceptual misunderstanding “And stood stock still... In our little hearts something tightened,” they knew something was wrong without even realising the brutality of the scene. A similar technique used in ‘To a Child Dancing in the Wind’, which is a change in tone, shows that the adult is more angry and envious towards the child, because even two years later, the child still remains innocent. “I could have warned you; but you are young, so we speak a different tongue.” He adult could have warned the child about the troubles that will come as they get older, but because the child is young, they wouldn’t understand, the adult world and talk is of a different language, something that is unknown to a child.
The adult in the in the poem ‘To a Child Dancing in the Wind’ is almost angry at the child for having freedom and innocence, he expresses this in a dreaming tone, “What need have you to care, for wind or water’s roar?” by personifying the wind as something dangerous, it conveys to the audience the extreme contrast between the...