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Meaning of "The Child is Father of the Man?"In "My Heart Leaps Up,"...

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Meaning of "The Child is Father of the Man?"

In "My Heart Leaps Up," what does Wordsworth mean when he says, "The Child is Father of the man?"

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neilam's profile pic

Posted (Answer #16)

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Dear readers 

I am sorry, but do not agree the above description and meaning.

There is a profound meaning of the seventh line in the poem 'The Rainbow' by William wordsworth. Actually in this line 'child is the father of man' the poet wants to say that man is the product of his habits and behaviour developed in the childhood. So, parents and teachers should try to give him good values because only a good man can make a better society. (And his context also reveals that if we develop love for nature in a child he continues loving his surrounding and nature in later stages of his age.)

 

canadianprincess7's profile pic

Posted (Answer #17)

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Neilam, you hit the nail on the head. It is so simple yet others are making a total mess of simplicity. Basically it is that man is the product of his habits and behaviour developed in the childhood. Another saying that might be close is "what you sow you will reap" or  What you practice you will become. Yes, the child is indeed the father of the man.

rakikid's profile pic

Posted (Answer #15)

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Always nonspecialists find the new things

luckiepenny's profile pic

Posted (Answer #18)

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It means that when we grow old we revert to babyhood and become a child again if we live long enough.  We start acting like babies again.  My grandmother did that when she was in her 90's.  My Dad is 76 and is starting to look like his baby pictures. 

user3152997's profile pic

Posted (Answer #19)

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'Child is father of man' is quite similar to the statement 'morning shows the day'. Which means if child has got a good habits and behaviour in childhood, he wiill be a good man in future as his/her character in childhood.

ms-mcgregor's profile pic

Posted (Answer #2)

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In his famous ode to nature, William Wordsworth says that the child in every person teaches him to appreciate nature beginning with the simple beauty of rainbows and by implication, other natural wonders. What we think as children will help determine how we think as adults. The lines that follow "the child is the father of the man", suggest, with almost religious zeal, that he hopes to always love nature as he did as a child.

kwoo1213's profile pic

Posted (Answer #3)

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In addition to the answer above, this line could also be religious in nature, due to "Child" and "Father" being capitalized.  We can think of this line as the child is Jesus, the father is God, and man is everyone on Earth, in one interpretation.  Also, we can look at it like this: the only way to salvation is through Jesus, according to Christian beliefs, because Jesus was sent to bear all of our sins through his suffering and death.  Jesus, the child of God, was the father of men because he came onto this Earth, preached and shared his beliefs about salvation and about God, and died so that his "children" could be saved, much as a father would do if one of his children was in danger of dying or being killed.

hmashwinkumar's profile pic

Posted (Answer #4)

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Meaning of "The Child is Father of the Man?"

In "My Heart Leaps Up," what does Wordsworth mean when he says, "The Child is Father of the man?"

I am little philosophically oriented person. When I read this poem in this light I felt there is a reference to the ETERNAL BLISS. And one would experience this only by aligining and surrendering to NATURE. This line, as well as the whole poem, might be highlighting the ENTERNITY.

hmashwinkumar's profile pic

Posted (Answer #5)

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Meaning of "The Child is Father of the Man?"

In "My Heart Leaps Up," what does Wordsworth mean when he says, "The Child is Father of the man?"

I am little philosophically oriented person. When I read this poem in this light I felt there is a reference to the ETERNAL BLISS. And one would experience this only by aligining and surrendering to NATURE. This line, as well as the whole poem, might be highlighting the ETERNITY.

jdeegerman's profile pic

Posted (Answer #6)

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I grew up with lots of childhood issues, which I buried until I was in my late 40's.  These issues dominated much of my adult behavior, especially with my children.  With this background I see Wordsworth's quote as meaning that things we experienced as children, which are still buried within us, play the role of a controlling father to us as adult men.  Classic example: "I hate the way my father treated me and I don't want to treat my children that way, but I can't seem to help it."

JDG

herappleness's profile pic

Posted (Answer #7)

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Is so interesting to see how many interpretations we all have about his phrase, which is what makes his poetry so magical and intense as an experience. I feel that, as some have posted, Wordsworth is saying that our heart speaks for our brains, in not such exacting words. If we are children at heart, our inner child will dictate all the great and the wonderful things that we find in life. If we aren't born with an inner child, our life will lack that, and we might even lose control of it.

ladynads's profile pic

Posted (Answer #10)

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Whren in a College English Lit class we explored the meaning behind Wordsworth's words "The Child Is The Father Of The Man." We determinedf that he meant that the Child is born all knowing and it is through experiencing life that we lose that knowlege! That our life experiences make us lose those knowings those memories we are born with because The Child Is The Father Of The Man!

drganesan's profile pic

Posted (Answer #11)

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I was looking for an answer.And I found it not from a single answer.Instead I was able to unravel the mystery by reading several of the posts and come to a couple of conclusions which I want to share. The word father also means a person who is responsible to teach and guide his child to become a Man. A person actually becomes a complete man only after he begets and brings up a child. Without a child to bring up he remains incomplete, not just biologically but also culturally and philosophically. So figuratively it can be said that the child has taught (fathered) his / her father to become a MAN. Therefore the Child is the Father of the MAN. A simpler interpretation is that an infertile person (who cannot impregnate a woman) cannot be called a Man (related to the word Manly). He can be called a Male but not a MAN. He is accepted to be a MAN only when he successfully makes his female give birth to a child. So it can also be said (again figuratively) that the Child has established (fathered) him as a Man from being just a Male.

ajprincess's profile pic

Posted (Answer #13)

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From a poem by William Wordsworth "The child is father of the man"

These means that by the age of 7 or so a child has developed physical characteristics (short or tall, fit or frail), personality traits (aggressive, loving), attitudes (hard working, slovenly) that will determine what he will be like as an adult.

In that sense is the child father to himself as an adult



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canadianprincess7's profile pic

Posted (Reply #1)

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Try again.

kubi33's profile pic

Posted (Answer #14)

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It means that the child's father is a man. or it just relates to the bible like JEsus is the son of god or something:)

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canadianprincess7's profile pic

Posted (Reply #1)

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Seriously Dude!

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