please explain me television poem line by line including figures of speech
‘Television’ consists of a total of 94 lines. These lines are not separated into stanzas. Here they are divided into meaningful segments for ease of comprehension.
In these lines, Roald Dahl is addressing all British parents and telling them that the most important thing one must learn while raising children is to keep them away from the television set. He also says that it is possible to come to a better solution to the problem by not installing a television set in their homes in the first place.
In these lines, Dahl speaks as if he has undertaken a long research on the bad effects of watching television by visiting a large number of households in Britain. In most houses, he has found the children lazing about all day and staring at the television screen without doing any productive work at all. Next, he indulges in a bit of exaggeration that is nonetheless amusing when he says that sometimes the children stare so hard that their eyeballs fall off & he has seen a dozen eyeballs rolling about on the floor in one house.
In these lines, Dahl says that children entire attention is captured by the television screen and they cannot concentrate on anything other than what they are watching.
In these lines, Dahl admits that he knows that television can be a convenient way to keep children occupied. While watching television, children never cause trouble or throw tantrums. As a result, their parents can go about doing their household chores without any interruption. However, parents do not stop to consider what television might do to their children.
These lines are written in capitals to emphasize that they carry the main message of the poem. This message is that watching too much television fills up the mid of children with useless facts while at the same time destroying their ability to create or understand worlds of fantasy in their imagination. It takes away their ability to think and they can only keep staring at the television screen.
In these lines, Dahl anticipates what the parents’ next question would be. They might agree to take away the television set from their children but will ask how they are supposed to now keep their children entertained and occupied.
In these lines, Dahl tells parents that they cannot have forgotten how children kept themselves entertained before the recent invention of the television.
In these lines, Dahl says that before the coming of television children would read and it is a shame that now they don’t.
In these lines, Dahl creates the alternate landscape that has been mentioned in the section on the poem’s setting. In this landscape, children’s rooms are filled to the brim with books.
In these lines, Dahl talks about the kind of typical fantasy stories that the children would read in his day. These were stories of adventure with many interesting characters.
In these lines, Dahl pays a tribute to another children author like him- Beatrix Potter. Potter’s books were known for the use of animals as characters, and the various colourful illustrations.
In these lines, Dahl makes an earnest appeal to parents to throw away their television set and replace it with a bookshelf, ignoring all the objection of their children.
In these lines, Dahl feels sure that sooner or later the children will turn to reading books to pass the time.
In these lines, Dahl says that the children will not be able to stop reading books once they have started & then will wonder why they had ever liked watching television. In the end the children will thank their parents for introducing them to books.
Apostrophe: This rhetorical device is used when a poet addresses his or her poem to an absent audience. Dahl uses the device of apostrophe when he addresses his poem to English parents and advises them on doing away with their television sets.
Personification: This rhetorical device is used to give human qualities to something that is incapable of human actions. Dahl uses the device of personification in two cases – first, when he gives television the human ability to kill something, and second, when he gives ‘Imagination’ the human ability to die at its hands.