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The subject matter of the poem The Caged Skylark by Gerard Manly Hopkins is basically...

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literature2011 | eNoter

Posted April 5, 2013 at 6:18 AM via web

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The subject matter of the poem The Caged Skylark by Gerard Manly Hopkins is basically freedom. My question is, how can I link this subject matter to his character? Why does he see himself as trapped? Why does he liken himself to a bird and uses a bird as a metaphor?

Any sort of answer is appriciated.

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted April 5, 2013 at 1:08 PM (Answer #1)

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Essentially, your question about "The Caged Bird" is asking why the trapped bird can become the bird of freedom as it symbolizes the man.  Hopkins was a very religious man who saw man as sinful, working his way through his life to the end and the glory of the freedom of God's redemption.  The bird is a metaphor for the man in the sense that the trapped bird is like we who labor for our lives, but in the end have worked our way to  freedom by the grace of religion.  We become uncaged from our work just like the man who is relieved of his cage of work also.  Now the bird and the man are free of worldly cares.

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