"The right twigs for an eagle's nest" Children in the writings of William Butler Yeats

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Description: My thesis explores William Butler Yeats's interests in eugenics and child-related legislation, and how these interests contributed to his view of nationality. The themes of reproduction and family, public and civic issues, and schools and education in Yeats's works reflect the national anxieties as well as his personal anxieties associated with children during the later part of his life. Yeats symbolically uses children in his writing to persuade his readers of the validity of his goals of improving the quality of Irish "stocks" and building a strong new Irish nation. His own family and the new "national" family of Ireland emerged as subjects in his poetry around the same time, and his interest in "child welfare" and eugenics was subordinate to his nationalism.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work