Poem 09 The Toys By Coventry Patmore

THE TOYS (COVENTRY PATMORE) 1823 - 1896


Q:1.What religious idea does the poem “The Toys” convey to its readers?
The religious idea presented in the poem is that God is benevolent and merciful Who forgives man despite his disobedience. It is the Christian belief that God is the father of all men. He loves all His children deeply and forgives their mistakes out of love, although a man disobeys Him throughout his life and does not understand His commands. This religious idea is conveyed to the readers through an incident in the poet’s life. 

Q:2.What everyday incident is narrated by the poet to convey the idea?
He narrates an everyday incident of a young boy who disobeys his father. The young child disobeys his father for the seventh times and invites his anger. The father loses his temper and punishes his son severely. Later, overcome by paternal love, he goes to his son’s room to find him sleeping. In his grief at being scolded by his father, he has turned for comfort to his toys. The father is deeply touched by the sight and forgives his son. This incident makes the writer realize the relation between man and his Creator. According to Christian belief, God is the father of all human beings. Therefore, He, like a father, will forgive all our sins when we lie in eternal sleep. 

Q:3.Why did Coventry Patmore’s little son behave in a “grownup wise”?
His little son behaved like a grown-up because he did not have a mother who would have protected him from the harsh realities of life. Being a motherless child, he learned to bear/endure people’s cruel attitude with calmness like the grownups. 

Q:4.How many times did the child disobey his father?
He disobeyed his father six times and it was for the seventh time that he disobeyed. On his seventh mistake, he was punished by his father. 

Q:5.Why did the father visit his son’s room?
The father visited his room to see if his son was asleep. He feared that he might be awake due to grief, so he went to his room to console him, as there was no one else. 

Q:6.How did the son react to his father scolding?
The son took his father’s scolding like grownups. He did not complain or cry; he just looked at his father in a grown up manner and then went to his room. 

Q:7.What moved the poet?
The sight of the sleeping child with swollen eyes, wet lashes and surrounded by toys moved the writer. 

Q:8.Why was he moved to tears?
He was moved to tears because he loved his son deeply. His suffering and grief made his heart ache and he left a few tears of his own while kissing away the tears of his son. 

Q:9.What did the writer do that night?
The writer that night when prayed to God admitted that a man makes the God angry by disobeying His commands and running after unimportant things, but God showers His mercy upon man and forgives him for all his mistakes. 

Q:10.What was the writer reminded of, by this mundane (ordinary, everyday) incident in his life?
This small incident between the father and his young son reminded the writer of the relationship between God and man. He realized that as he had forgiven his son for his mistake, God would also forgive man’s mistakes because He is merciful. According to Christian belief, God is the Father of all humanity. So as a father forgives his son’s mistakes God, the father of all men will forgive His children out of love that He has for them. 

Q:11.When will God leave His wrath?
He will leave His wrath when He sees His children suffering at the time of death. 

Q:12.Why will God leave His wrath?
He will leave His wrath because He loves His children (all men) dearly. He has created them from clay, molded them into the best shape with love and affection. He cannot see them suffering as a father so that is why He gives up His anger and forgives man. 

Q:13.What will God say while pardoning man?
He will say that He is very sorry for the way we behaved, which was very childish. Then He will have mercy upon us and forgive us for our sins and misdeeds.

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