60 Themes

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Mortality

Throughout the poem, Tagore includes images and symbols that suggest the idea of human frailty. In the beginning of the poem, the children meet on the seashore, but "the restless water is boisterous," an ominous sign that something bad could happen. The children use "withered leaves," which represent the dead parts of a tree, since leaves die after they fall from a tree. They use these leaves to "weave their boats," which they set adrift "on the vast deep." The deepness of the ocean also suggests mortality, since the ocean's vastness is permanent and can easily capsize the boats or drown the children, especially since "They know not how to swim." While the children play, the adults in the poem, represented by the "Pearl fishers" and "merchants," are intimately aware of their need to survive. Even if the "restless water" does not kill them, they could starve if...

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This section contains 665 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the 60 Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
60 from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.