Simon Armitage's Kid Analysis

Kid

Introduction

Simon Armitage’s “Kid” is a dramatic monologue written from the perspective of “the real boy wonder”, Robin, who is trying to find his way in the world without his mentor, Batman. The speaker defiantly claims he is now “taller, harder, stronger, older”.

The Order

When Armitage learned the producers were dropping Robin from the Batman and Robin series, he responded with this “rant” because he felt “Robin had the most important things to say”.

Batman, perhaps arrogantly, thinks he is giving Robin the chance to explore the world “freely” and sail “leeward” along the winds across the “wild blue yonder”. The description of sailing the “wild” ocean sounds thrilling and adventurous.

However, Robin thinks he has been cruelly “ditched” and left in the “gutter”. The word “ditched” means abandoned but it also has an obvious connotation of land excavated to channel water. A “gutter” is used to drain rainwater from houses and roads. These two images certainly contrast with the open seas and freedom of Batman’s point of view.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Who is the speaker in the poem?
  2. The speaker refers to Batman as “big shot”. What does this suggest about his attitude towards the caped crusader?
  3. Batman and Robin have separated but what is the difference between “let me loose” and “ditched me”?
  4. What does the cliché “I turned a corner” mean?
  5. How do the speaker’s feelings towards Batman differ from other people’s views?
  6. Why does the speaker not want to play “ball boy any longer”?
  7. What does the speaker’s change of clothes suggest about his changing personality?
  8. How does the speaker poke fun at Batman towards the end of the poem?
  9. Do you believe the speaker is “the real boy wonder”?
  10. Explain how you know this poem is a dramatic monologue.
  11. What do you notice about the sounds Armitage uses at the end of each line?
  12. Find an example of a metaphor in the poem and comment on its effectiveness.
  13. Find an example of alliteration and explain what it adds to the image.
  14. Find an example of sarcasm and explain what it suggests about the speaker.

Simon Armitage Reads ‘Kid’

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