In Fear, the speaker says, "I don't want them to make my little girl a princess." Why does she not want her little girl to be a princess?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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While the whole poem is about a mother who fears losing her little girl as she grows up, she states directly that she does not want her little girl to become a princess or a queen. The speaker fears that her little girl will become isolated as a princess is much of the time. Clearly, the speaker has a good perception of how a princess really has to live. It is not all glamorous as some would think. The poem is about a child's loss of innocence. Growing up is as difficult for the child as is for the mother watching her grow up.

She adds that her little girl will not get to play in the meadow. The speaker realizes that the life of a princess is dictated by policy and pomp and circumstance. There is little time for play or pleasure.

I don't want them to makeĀ 
my little girl a princess.
In tiny golden slippers
how could she play on the meadow?
And when night came, no longer
would she sleep at my side.
I don't want them to make
my little girl a princess.

And even less do I want them
one day to make her queen.
They would put her on a throne
where I could not go to see her.
And when nighttime came
I could never rock her...
I don't want them to make
my little girl a queen!

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