1) Warren’s parents, out of love, have unwittingly trapped him in a world he hates.
2) a) The poet gives examples of the parents’ pride and happiness and contrasts them with examples of Warren’s misery.
b) The poet uses images like “brutal toil,” “lonely patience,” “barren hole” to make us feel the depth of Warren’s unhappiness.
c) the poem starts and ends with an example of a sacrifice. The parents’ sacrifice, saving and slaving points ahead to the promise of a better life. The poem ends with Warren sacrificing his happiness to conform superficially to his parents’ expectations.
4) Warren’s parents provide for Warren what they would have liked desperately for themselves. They send him away young and never understand him. They don’t ever see that Warren’s needs are different from their own. Lonely in a world without the benefit of any warmth and nurturing, he grows into a hard and serious young man. He’s living a lie and feels caged inside, born for the warm, free outdoor life that his well-meaning parents took away from him.
5) The poem closes with Warren trapped like a bear in a cage, emptied of strength and stifling his anger. Warren doesn’t feel like he put himself in his present situation and he also doesn’t believe that he has any choice and can take any responsibility to make his life better.
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