In the ‘Stolen Child’ How Does Yeats’ Present Innocence and Corruption?

In the ‘Stolen Child’ how does Yeats’ present innocence and corruption?

In Yeats’ poem ‘The Stolen Child’, he focuses on a child being led to the safety of nature and its purity, away from the ‘corrupt’ urban life. He gives the poem a childlike form which conveys the innocence, and rhyming structure which reinforces this virtuous sense which the youth holds. The language he uses is aimed very accurately to express either the magical aura which the island encompases or the negative bitter attitude Yeats has towards the cities and society at the time.

‘The Stolen Child’ presents innocence through it’s form, structure and effective use of language. Each stanza creates a steady, rhythmical structure through constant iambic tetrameter. This makes the poem very childlike and simple similar to a child's rhyme which not only conveys the innocence of spoken child but is also in simple form so that it would be accessible to more people. The poem’s structure is again very juvenile as the repeating chorus makes it sound like a nursery song. The lines in the stanzas are kept short and is very straightforward. The chorus is written in italics for originally it had been read aloud by a few people to create an echo effect, and it was also more sung than the rest. When a reader first reads it they immediately pick up that the last lines are meant to be said differently. A fairy is narrating the poem which sets the reader in the fantastical scene that the child is being allured to. Yeats believed that the world should be free and natural like this idyllic place he is describing which the fairy’s live in, and that the current cities and inhabited places were corrupted and constricted. Yeats often used gentle, idealistic phrases to describe the pureness of the untainted island. He uses alliteration to describe where there ‘lies a leafy island’ to emphasise the natures sense of lusciousness and abundance in life. The ‘flapping herons’ and ‘drowsy water-rats’ or ‘slumbering trout’...