ISC English Reverie The Spider and the Fly : theme

The Spider and the Fly

Question : What is the theme of the poem “The Spider and the Fly”?

Answer: “The Spider and the Fly” depicts the common human weakness of being taken over by flattering comments. The poem delivers a lesson – never pay attention to flattering of an evil counsellor. The poetess herself convey this message rather directly in the very last stanza of the poem.
The poem basically tells us a tale of a cunning Spider,who traps a naive fly through the use of seduction and flattery. Mary Howitt depicts the flattery is so powerful that people turn towards it even after knowing its consequences, the fly states repeatedly that she has ” often heard ” many tales of poor  victims that go up the   “winding stairs ” or rest upon the spider’s web but never return. But here the spider has a lot of  experience in attracting creature to its web. This time he plays  an unbeatable trick of flattery. She knows the power that flattery has over someone and thus is sure that the  fly would return to its den. The spider tries several temptations in order to get the fly to his parlour such as offering “pretty things ” that  are up ” the winding stair “. But he saves his best bait for the last. He artfully makes use of  flattering words to bring the fly back again. The spider calls her sweet and exclaims – 
 “How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your                                                                                                                         eyes!”
The fly’s parting words indicate that she has been carried away with the spider’s flattering words. The fly parts with the words indicating that she will return –
And bidding you good – morning now, I’ll call another day”.

     This time the spider knows that his trick had worked successfully on the weakness of the fly. Convinced that the stupid fly would surely come he returns to his ‘den’ where he weaves a subtle web. The “dining table” is ready .Not long after, the comes flying in. It had been swayed by the spider’s cunningness. The fly was lost in the thoughts of seeing its bewitching beauty,its coloured wings and it’s crested head. Little did it knows what danger lay ahead.

      With ferocity and utmost glee, the spider jumped on to the fly, subdued it easily and dragged it to its ‘den’. In no time the spider devoured the fly.
     Thus, the poet has cautioned people against falling into a trap laid through the use of flattery or false offer of help,friendship or enticements.

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