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‘SNAKE — BY D.H, LAWRENCE ABOUT THE POEM in ths lengthy blank verse poem, Lawrence describes an incident in his life in which he comes across a snake at his water {rough in Sicily, ‘The poem is more or less lke an ode, celebrating the encounter of the poet witha snake, which came asa trespass into nis domain for water. The poem starts by revealing the event, the time and the atmosphere, Type/ genre- Lyrical poetry Setting taly Verse type-A 74 line free verse splitinto 19 verse paras (Stanzas of unequal length) Style of the poem- A narrative THEME ‘The poem highlights several themes. * Guilt, The poet feels guilty at having listened to the voice of education and committing tie lowly act of throwing 2 logat the snake, * Duty and relationships.The poet knows that is unjust to killa snake just because he has been taught todo so. He still does it as he feels duty bound towards his education and relationships. * _Inthis poem we also see Lawrence's new free life, the heat, and his fascination with Ns!ire, whether thatis at hhome in England, or asin this ease, abroad in more Mediterranean climes. * _ Realism: “The voice of my education said to me He must be klled, For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous. And voices in me said, ifyou were a man You would take a stick and break him now, ‘and finish him off." * Nature is sacred. Although in Sicily one is ordered to kill these snakes, D.H, Lawrence does not because he {rows fond of them and believes that although the snake is venomous, its still part of nature. + Religion. The concept of sin and purgatién refers to the concept of Christianity, Revolt. Revolt is against the pragmatic nature of society which believes that golden brown snakes should be ‘despised and killed instantly as they are dangerous. D.H, Lawrence believes that they mean no harm. He knew many ‘would scrutinize this poem for adoring snakes, viewing them as, "..one ofthe lords of life", and how he, ".felt so honored." in its presence, he still wrote it. ALLUSION Religious allusion. In literature and throughout history snakes are viewed as a bad omen and a sign of «ei, such asin the story of Adam and Eve. Relevance isto the concept of golden brown snakes being dangerous Reference is also made to the crusfiation and rising ofthe Christ and to the Christian concep of sin, retribution, guilt ‘and repentance, * __Iiterary allusion, Allusion is made tothe ‘ancient mariner’ and ‘the albatross’ from the ‘hve of the Ancient Marine? by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The poet is happy and grateful that he did not hurt the sich and he would not ‘have to lve the lfe of guilt as the ancient mariner. Reference is also made to the unreasonabie titudle of man and the need to bring about more awareness. * ___ Historical allusion. Reference is made tothe historical events, ‘sila ly and “tna Sine. Reference isto "Mt, Etna, an active volcano in Sicily, tay, i also refers to the hot summer month, of July in Sicily he two terms symbolize the hot, oppressive atmosphere of earth the heat and destruction caused by volcanic activities underneath and the venomous nature of snake, ut ERE 1. Lawrence opens his work witha statement about the heat. * _Coriment on how the poet uses the concept of heat throughout the poem. he concet of heat hasbeen used to represent the hot oppressive summer heat sn he ret cof hell deep. underground the earth from where the snake comes. wasp pour progresses ti felt thatthe poet doesnot believe inthis. The heat ths has been used to make the reader follow the teaditional belief about snakes and then argue against le lifted his head frorn his drinking, as cattle do, ‘And looked at me vaguely as drinking cattle do" 1s The poet twice compares the snake to cattle. Why does he do $0? “pe comparison highights the innocence, the tranquility andthe general acceptance of he cattle in our ae conaings.ronialy, despite the comparison, the snake fs ot accepted by the soley 35 cattle Line n0 46-54 «= whdoes the poet speak ofthat dreadful hole” and “horrid blackhole" How does iis choice of words increase our understanding of the poet's feelings? Thar rane references to education, which states thatthe Blackhole is where the snakes TN t0 appear istinked tthe shadowy underwors of read hell and ire. Sothe "le! horrid and dreadful What language device or figure of speechis used in" picked up clumsy log"? mn what way ‘can the log be said tobe "clumsy"? aoe red epithet. The log isnot clumay, the poet In his attempt to throw the og the sake, which isa half hearted attempt to kil the snake. tine no 64-70 coerce perceived of the snake diferent from the way in which mast Chvisanspereeve ft Explain carefully hhow this sso. oe ne ee aisd the level ofthe snake rst toa guest, then a person, then God. He fess honoree and eer tnave the snoke nis backyard. Another thought ithe sake ikened to lesus Christ whe wat aged, died went the underworld and then ose agin tobe crownet the King of heaven and earth. Why doesthe poet use free verse instead of controle thyme scheme? i ree offre verse revealsthe poet’ believe in fre thought than to be bound by the nar receses of Tandard education. Free verse allows the poet to explore the world around in 2 freer fashion which the rhyme scheme would not alow. comment on the use of ream in the poem OR The cic of ur modern eduction relied through the poem. Comment aera coe tat enters the poem, perhaps from Lawrence's stit Victorian chidhood, brings With inthe cold cree of reals, The poet ealzes suddenly that he has nat made any aterts to kil the sale ‘The cynicism that golden snakes are dangerous and shouldbe kled; makes the poet thro 208 the snake. Though he does aera ute snake, he stil honours the voce of his education by throwing og at he snake Isis aoeaearyn that mokes tr fearful ofthe snake, He attacks te snake when backs turned _The poem suddenly picks up speed. How isthe change in pace relevant? Vf) Bs significance? “The eynicsm that golden snakes are dangerous and should be killed ‘rings vith it a change of pace. Words such vetake" or "break of "nish" evoke images of speed and action contrasting with the unhurried pace of the 2s en ines The acceleration of paces confirmed by Lawrence's lat atin the poem, Which tothrowa