1441 Words Summary of “Television” by Roald Dahl
The poet starts the piece if the poem with the old saying by elders to keep the children away from the television set. The poet has made this statement very aggressively. He compared the television set to be as bad as an idiot box. One should keep the children away from the television set or may be the best part would be instead, never install the television sets in the house. If there would be no television sets, the children wound not have it to waste all their precious time in front of them.
Next, the poet says that it is not uncommon to see the children sitting and staring continuously at the television sets. In almost every house, the same scene is to be seen. The children are so obsessive of watching the television, that one would find them in any awkward pose. The children does not even care about what angel and how are they sitting, if they are in fact sitting also or just about to fall from the couch they are sitting on, but the mast interesting part is that their eyes will be deeply focused at the television sets. The children are so damn obsessive that they do not even care about their eyes. It would feel as if their eye balls will come out, but still they would not be tired of watching the TV.
The poet is then referring to his own experience where he went to someone’s house and was astonished to see so many people staring at the TV continuously as if they are sitting in front of the TV since so very long. It looks as if they are hypnotized by the scenes in the TV. They stare so continuously that it seems that they do not even blink their eyes once. It seems as if they have the hang-over of watching the TV, which is nothing other than a junk box.
The poet, next, determine the main disadvantages for this TV and the unstoppable habit of the children to get stick to it. It is the TV set only, which make the children immobile. They are in sedentary position all day and thus, do not move out of the house to play or undertake any physical exercises or sports etc. They do not even move out, mingle with each other, play together or even fight. This hampers their physical ability and growth. Not only has their own physical fitness, even the dumb television sets made their brains stop working.
The children become so much engaged in watching the TV, that the personal relationships between the mother and the child are also somewhat lost. The children do not argue with the mothers for cooking any nutritional foods etc. here, the poet is referring to the personal touch the parents have with their children, the small arguments and even scolding are also essential in life, else it becomes very dull. In this case, the children in a way are lost in their own aloof world and do not care about anything else. They do not demand any time from the parents. The parents are free to do their own work. This way, an unusual silence comes in relationships and the personal touch is lost.
But here, is the role of an ideal parent. The poet is shaking the consciousness of the parents in the next part of the poem. He is informing about the ill effects the TV sets causes to the lovely children. The TV sets makes the children dull, and spoils the important senses in the brains if the child. The imagination and creativity is also jammed and the innovative thinking is also dead. The TV sets shows the clutter which impacts the thinking of the child. The child stops thinking in his or her own and only fusses on the facts and knowledge he gets from the TV, his own sense of creativity is lost in this case.
The childhood fantasies, and fairyland and other lovely features of the child get killed and dead because of the TV sets. His thought process stops and corrodes as if it is filled with rust and freezes. After all, their brains stop wolfing in their own. The brain is developed only to the extent what they see and learn out of it. Their own sense of thinking is kind of dead.
The poet is next, focusing on the dilemma suffered by the parents. The parents understands that the televisions are of course not good for the development and growth of their child, but then what should they do to entertain the children? The substitute for televisions needs to be thought about, which is as entertaining as the TV sets and even overcome the flaws which TV has. The answer to this is quite simple. In order to get the answer, the parents should take their thinking far before what this TV set was invented. In the good old times also, children used to get entertained as well without the TV sets. The poet is taking everyone to the past and emphasis on the best past time of the children to be the books. The children used to and now also, should read real good books in order to entertain themselves. There are so many great books which were and now also are available for the children to read and learn.
The children should focus on reading the melodious rhymes and other story books. Earlier there used to books everywhere, on the book shelves, in the study room, bed room, lying on the bed and floor…everywhere. The poet states the famous of the now amongst children of different ages, and how the children of old times used to be engrossed with these stories and other books. That good old times of books were so great, the poet cherishes his past and now requests the parents of present days to thrown away the television sets and instead get those old book shelves and lovely books back to its place. Children should have a lovely book shelve hanging on the wall, which will increase the beauty of the wall. And then only the shelf is not enough, it should be filled will books and many books. This action by the parents will not be liked by the children at first and the children might oppose to this by different actions like screaming, shouting and even worse. But the parents should not be afraid from this revolutionary action of the children. Things will settle down on its own in some time.
When there will be no TV, and nothing else to do, children will of course need some thing for entertainment, and then will come the time when they will grab a book and start to read the same.
And once they will start operating the books, the real joy will come then. They themselves will understand the joy of reading and soon will gain interest. These books will make its own place in the hearts if the children and they will become fond of reading. That will be the day when they will realize that they had been wasting a lot of their precious time in watching the television. They will understand the worth of the books and how worthless was watching the television. The children will soon realize that you did wonderful thing for them by throwing away the television and instead installing the lovely books to entertain and teach them so much. The children will love you (parents) all the more for throwing away the television and bringing them near to the books.