How does Markus Natten use rhetorical questions and repetition in Childhood, to effectively portray the loss of innocence and the passage of time.
Answer as written by the student:
Markus Natten uses rhetorical questions and repetition in Childhood to effectively portray the loss of innocence and the passage of time. He employs these literary devices to create a sense of confusion, nostalgia, and regret in the poem.
Rhetorical questions are questions that are asked for effect rather than to elicit an answer. Natten uses rhetorical questions to express his uncertainty and curiosity about when and how he lost his childhood. He begins each stanza with the same question: “When did my childhood go?” He then offers various possible answers, such as the day he turned twelve, the day he realized that hell and heaven were not real places, the day he saw the hypocrisy of adults, and the day he became aware of his own mind. However, none of these answers seem satisfactory or conclusive to him, as he repeats the question again and again. He also asks other rhetorical questions, such as “Was that the day?” and “Where did it go?” to emphasize his doubt and frustration. By using rhetorical questions, Natten invites the reader to reflect on their own experiences of growing up and losing innocence.