Four Levels of the Poem “The Illiterate”

The Illiterate Four Levels

The Illiterate is an education-related poem by Laxmi Prasad Devkota. This story shows the importance of education in human life.

In this text, illiterate (uneducated) people are being compared to different material and non-material things. Four levels of the Illiterate are literal comprehension, interpretation, critical thinking/ analysis, and assimilation mentioned below:

Literal Comprehension

The poem ‘The Illiterate’ was written by Nepali poet Laxmi Prasad Devkota. In this poem, he compares the uneducated persons with different things, objects & animals.

According to him, an uneducated person does not understand the value of sunshine. Where an educated person can utilize the energy of the sun in different ways. But the uneducated person used the sun only to determine the day & night.

He also compared them with the wind. Because the wind flows in any direction they do not have any destinations. Hence uneducated people do not have any type of aims or destinations.

They were compared with vegetables. Also with the pets i.e. dogs because the dogs were so honest towards their owner. An uneducated person cannot make any type of solution to the problems. They need to ask an educated person.

They do not have any ability to determine what’s wrong & what’s right, even god is also sad for giving life to an uneducated person. At last, the poet requested that God give them an opportunity to be educated people.


The writer may be trying to tell us about the value of education in life. Simply, he explains how a person becomes small in their society if he has not had sufficient education like in the poem.

He might tell us that education is the chain that every person has to wear to get respect in any kind of society. Otherwise educated person utilize their power for their benefit. At last, maybe he says that education is the key to success.

Critical Thinking

This poem is inspirational to the uneducated person. It explains the reality of society and also explains the role of education in ordinary life. However, after reading this text I have some questions,

  • How a human being can be compared with dogs?
  • Is it compulsory to be educated to earn respect in society?
  • Also, Are all uneducated people discriminated against in society?
  • Similarly, Can all educated person can earn respect in society?

Hence, I am not fully happy with this poem.


Before reading this text I think people went to school, colleges & universities to get passed certificates to get job opportunities.

But after reading the text I knew the value of education in life. Education is not the thing which should be achieved for the job purpose only. Education plays a great role in making the life of human beings bright. So, I have decided to read books happily from today.

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