The History Teacher

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The comparison between The History teacher and A barred owl. In The poem “A Barred Owl” and “The History Teacher”by Richard Wilbur and Billy Collins, superbly exemplified that altering the truth, can lead to major consequences. In these two poems the authors describe the evils of lying, but in Collins’ poem. The reader can easily be convinced that there are certain situations when it is unacceptable. Collins's poem contradicts Wilbur's poem because Wilbur strongly argues that lying only damages young children. The poem “The History Teacher” portrays an elementary school history teacher who believes that lying to his student is the only way “to protect their innocence.” The teacher talked about…show more content…
The poem started with a frightened young girl who is awakened by the sound of an owl. “We tell the wakened child that all she heard is a odd question.”(L 2 and 3) When the author refers to us it could be the parents, an adult, or us the reader. The reason Wilbur puts “we” into this stanza is because in this is a situation any of us have or will encounter. There is always a choice to lie or tell the truth in a situation. The response to the girl’s outcry was a gift of relief. Instead of telling the girl that there was something to worry about they say the owl was just saying “Who cooks for you?” (Line 6) The little unknowable girl went back to sleep peacefully unbeknownst to the outside. The owl is a symbol for knowledge, and the parents changed the chattering from the owl into “Who cooks for you.” This means the that line who read out to mean that knowledge was asking who cooked for you.The responder was right to lie in that situation because it doesn’t benefit anyone if she knows. Many people would say that the owl is a symbol of knowledge, and that the person was blocking her from the truth. In reality the owl is a harmful killer that will only hurt those who know about
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