What is meant by "awarding the world its world?"

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The map is described as being "open-handed" in the sense that it is generous with what it has to offer. The map itself is offering "the world its world" because it is laid open and displaying the wealth of its painted world—and what that represents in reality—to anyone who cares to look. However, although the map itself may be generous, the circumstances of these children make it difficult for them to take it up on its offer. They are arguably part of the world, or should be, but in fact they could never contemplate a world as vast and without boundaries as that displayed by the map. On the contrary, the world for these children is "not this map," but limited to the windows and what can be seen through them. Like the street outside, they are "sealed in," unable to imagine a life lived freely outside of the confines of the city, the slum, in which they live.

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The map is described as “awarding the world its world” because people in the outside world are the ones who have the opportunities.  These children are limited to the slum.

Consider the next line after this phrase.

And yet, for these
Children, these windows, not this world, are world

By saying that these windows are their world, the speaker reminds us that the children do not have the opportunities that that map represents.  This is why he says that the map is “a bad example/
With ships and sun and love tempting them to steal” (lines 17-18).  Their world is so limited that they can only hope to see the rest of the world through a life of crime.


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