How does the use of dialogue help enhance the theme in Mary Howitt’s poem “The Spider and the Fly”?
Use of dialogue in the poem “The Spider and the Fly” makes it more lively and amusing. The poet has presented two trifle creatures — a fly and a spider and attributed human status to them. The way the Spider tries to manipulate the Fly and how the Fly, after resisting for some time in the beginning, finally falls prey to the cunning, wily Spider is actually a tale told in a humorous vein. And, the very use of dialogues put in their lips makes the poem more enjoyable and a success. The poet’s intention was to present a serious topic — the power of flattery and danger of vanity — in a not-so-serious tone. And, the dialogues help her do that effectively making the piece a black comedy.
Moreover, the use of dialogues enables the readers to see exactly how a cunning fellow with an evil intention uses flattery to make someone innocent fall in the trap. As the poem was originally written to educate children about the realities of the natural world, the poet does well to convey her message through this tale in a lighthearted tone with the use of dialogues. In short, the conversational tone here enhances the effectiveness of the poem to deliver the overall theme of the poem.