Dix often depicted the lives of the downtrodden. Here we have a chance to see the start of the cycle. The working class boy is anything but carefree. He is overburdened and robbed of youth. His gaze is split as though he's trapped between worlds. He leads the life of an adult although he is just a child. He would like to play but there are mouths to feed. The left eye, the serious eye, steers him toward work.