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Rainer Maria Rilke Writing Styles in Childhood

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Style

Impressionism

Rilke describes emotions in this poem impressionistically. Impressionism seeks to depict scenes or characters by using concrete details to evoke subjective and sensory impressions, rather than to accurately depict an objective reality. For example, Rilke refers to the experience of the child's unbearable waiting for the school day to end as "lumpish time," and the place where he plays after school ends as "some green place." Writers who helped popularize impressionistic writing include Thomas Mann, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce.

Juxtaposition

By using contrasting images and emotions, Rilke underscores the torment and fear that come with childhood. In one stanza, the child is lonely, bored, and anxious, but, in the next, he is full of light and life. In one stanza, he is terrified by the world he sees and then comforted by the sight of adults, a house, and a dog. Juxtaposing these emotions allows Rilke to...

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This section contains 247 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Childhood Study Guide
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Childhood from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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