Why does the poet wish to travel with the pedlar in "The Pedlar's Caravan"?

Quick answer:

The speaker wants to roam with the pedlar man in "The Pedlar's Caravan" because he craves the freedom of movement that the pedlar has, likes the idea of living in a caravan, thinks it would be fun to sell and mend goods, and believes he could write a book about his adventures.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The poem's speaker wants to roam with the pedlar man in William Brighty Rands's "The Pedlar's Caravan" because he desires the freedom that the pedlar seems to have. The pedlar can go where he pleases. He can travel without anybody keeping tabs on him. He has the freedom of anonymity, as nobody knows where he came from or where he is heading next.

Further, his caravan is alluring. It has two windows and a tin chimney, and he can take his wife and child with him in it on his travels. His work selling and mending goods seems appealing as well. Further, this caravan or "house" can splash through the water on its travels, so it seems like a "bathing machine."

Finally, the speaker thinks he would have enough adventures after roaming with the pedlar all over the place that he could write a book that people would read, as they do about the voyages of Captain Cook.

This is a child's romanticized view of what seems like the thrilling life of a pedlar. The child speaker does not see the crowded quarters of the caravan, the lack of roots of the wandering family, or the economic precariousness of a very small business that relies on the whims of different townspeople.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial