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The Lost Child
By- Mulk Raj Anand
Theme / Central Idea of the Lesson. Analysis of The Lost Child
The story is based on the theme of the close bond that children share with their parents. The lost child forgets all about his desires and yearns deeply for his parents when he fails to find them. Everything else loses its significance and the only thing that matters is his wish to be reunited with his parents.
A child looks at this world with wide eyes. He is attracted towards most of the things he comes across in daily life. The child wants to possess all things that he is attracted to. But very often, the parents are not able to fulfil the wishes of the child. This may be due to two reasons. Either they are not able to afford it or they feel that a particular thing is not good for the child. The child may not understand this and may even feel angry. But the child understands the worth of his parents in their absence. He longs for his parents and cries for them. In this story we find the child crying for his parents when he gets lost and nothing else matters to him.
Justify the title of The Lost Child
“The Lost Child” describes an episode in the life of a child who gets lost in a fair. All the incidents in the story are about this child. The writer focuses his attention on the contrast in the behaviour of the child before and after getting lost. The writer’s understanding of the psychology of little children, especially during the absence of their parents, is reflected in this story. Hence, the title is very appropriate.
A child goes to a festival along with his parents. The child is fascinated by the things he sees on the way. There are many attractions in the air like toys, merry-go-round, eatables etc. The child asks his parents to buy these things for him but his parents refuse. Then he gets attracted to a roundabout. Suddenly, he turns around and finds his parents are not there. He is lost. Panic-stricken, he runs in different directions to find his mother and father. Since the story deals with the child who loves his parents and get lost in the fair, the title is appropriate.
Moral/ Message of the lesson – (The Lost Child)
The story conveys the message that children love their parents unconditionally. The lost child thinks of his father as a strict person when he demands toys from him. He does not press his parents for sweets or garlands etc because he accepts that they will never grant him his wish. However, he gets scared when he realises that he is lost. He cries inconsolably for his parents and forgets all about his cravings for sweets, garlands, snake-charmers show, and even the ride on a roundabout. This message of the story makes the reader understand the worth of parents in the life of a child.
During childhood, we long for so many things we see in day-to-day life. The child is attracted towards so many things he comes across. But very often he does not understand the true value of his parents and take them for granted. The significance of parents is only realised when they are out of sight and we start longing for them. We realise that we cannot carry on without the help of our parents. This is what the child realises once he got lost in the fair. In the fair, the child comes across many things he wants to buy. But is refused by his parents. Finally, he is attracted by the roundabout and goes near it. He gets separated from his parents and suddenly misses them. Though a man tries to calm the child by offering many things, the child wanted only his parents.