What is the main idea of the poem "Little Feet" by Gabriela Mistral?

Asked on by amunn

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estoverl's profile pic

estoverl | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted on

"Little Feet" was written by a Chilean author who writes under the pseudonym Gabriela Mistral. She began to publish her works in the early 1900s. The themes of her poems are most often love, death, betrayal, sadness and loss. 

Mistral worked as an educator and took up the cause of mistreated children and education as a Director of Primary Education for the Chilean government. During travels to Europe and her native country of Chile, she noticed the mistreatment and neglect of children. 

In the poem "Little Feet", the main idea is that the society allows children to walk around neglected and hurting from a lack of basic resources such as shoes so that their little feet do not hurt. Further, she writes that often people ignore the children or just look the other way so they do not have to see that they hurt from the lack of basic resources. 

Children’s little feet, jewels of suffering,

how can those who pass you not see!

sullymonster's profile pic

sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

"Little Feet" is a poem in which the speaker addresses the feet of children who are suffering from poverty.  The speaker assertst that the feet are special, holy even - the feet leave flowers where they go.  The speaker encourages the feet to be brave, even when  ignored by society.

Mistral is criticizing a society that is failing to provide for poverty-stricken children.  These children are not to blame for their situation, and yet society has turned a blind eye to their plight.


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