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Badger by John Tripp.

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Introduction

13.11.02 Badger Poems Coursework Badger by John Tripp 12.11.02 First Draught The objective of this coursework is to compare two poems, based on badgers, by John Tripp and John Clare. In order to do this successfully, it has been recommended that aspects such as the way the poet describes the badger, the attitude of each poet towards the badger and references to what I found effective should be covered. Badger by John Tripp This poem is based on Tripp's personal encounter with a badger, during the early 20th Century. The opening lines introduce the reader to the compassionate, gentle nature of a badger. The human stereotype of a badger is that they are 'harmless', and 'loveable nocturnal things'. They appear so cuddly and cute. Teddy bears or cartoons of badgers often create this image. A badger is also being personified, when it is referred to as being 'a family man'. A vast majority of us would assume that families are a unity that only exist in the human race. This usually consists of a husband, wife and children. It seems so very civilised. Being humans, we would consider ourselves superior to other races. Relating humans to badgers makes them seem to be a more intelligent, and a supreme race in the animal kingdom. Some would see badgers as being rather shy and reserved. Tripp describes how 'he has an old reputation for remaining aloof'. In some aspects, this is a positive thing. Badgers mind their own business, and do not interfere with the lives of fellow animals. It almost makes them seem hardworking. They are busy enough wrapped up in their own lives to wonder about others. As the poem develops, the description of a badger gradually becomes more sinister, and more threatening. The first indication that something was wrong is when Tripp writes ' I thought he stuffed himself on insects and roots...' ...read more.

Middle

Badger By John Clare This poem was written in the early 19th Century, and is based on badger baiting. The opening lines of the poem introduce the reader to sinister activity. 'When midnight comes a host of dogs and men.' Midnight is often associated with crime, and evil activity. The world is asleep, and it is the perfect time to commit a crime. The presence of the 'host of dogs' confirms this. It seems as thought the dogs are there for protection, or to attack. They are going to 'track the badger...' the word track suggests that the badger is being hunted down, being a victim of these humans. The badger is described as being harmless. 'Old grunting badger' indicates the badger was vulnerable and weak, as he is aged. Grunting is a noise that people often make when they are wary, and fatigue. This means that the badger is not in a good state of health, and is even more vulnerable. Yet the badger is still fairly strong. 'They let the strongest loose'. The strongest dogs were set upon the badger, as the men felt that the badger may beable to defend itself against the weaker dogs. Even though, the odds were unfair. It is impossible that one badger could successfully fight several strong dogs. Human activity in a natural environment often causes disturbance. 'The fox hears the noise and drops the goose.' Foxes are intelligent animals, and perhaps he had seen hunters before, who were armed, and knew they kill animals. Being conscious of the human activity going on, the fox felt he may be attacked, therefore probably went and hid himself somewhere. The men use weapons - 'a forked stick' to beat the badger, and get him under control. Getting beaten by one forked stick would be painful, but getting beaten by several would result in excruciating pain and agony. The badger would already be worn out by the dogs, which attacked it. ...read more.

Conclusion

When ones lungs are damaged, they often do crackle. The badger was desperately struggling for life, but faced impossible odds: 'leaves his hold', he was clinging, holding onto life. His determination makes the reader be proud on his behalf. Clare has won the reader's heart on behalf of the badger. The most effective aspect of this poem is how Clare has managed to persuaded the reader into feeling sympathetic towards the badger and liking it. Also, poems that ryme seem to have the effect of drawing attention, particularly to young audience. However, I tend to find that poems that rhyme don't have such depth in their meaning, as non ryming poems do. This may be because the poet has to adapt the words, and sentence in order to make it rhyme. So in most cases, the most suitable ajective and pronouns cannot be used, to create a certain atmosphere or impression. Yet this poem has managed to obtain both qualities. It rhymes and has a fundimental depth to it. I really appreciate the content of this poem fotr htat reason. In conclusion, the variation between Tripp's and Clare's poem is that Tripp describes the ruthless and vicious side of the badger, due to what it had done to his rabbit; as a result hates it. It is somewhat ironic that Tripp's poem is based in the 20th Century, when people had strong believes about animal cruelty. Yet Tripp does not seem in the least bit disturbed that the badger got killed. Yet, society as a whole certainly would have objected. On the oterh hand, in the 19th Century, people would have mocked and laughed at the idea of there being animal rights. There was no respect in society for animals whatsoever. Yet Clair does have respect for animals. One would expect it to be the other way around. Both poets have the ability to make the reader agree with them, and look onto the events from their prespecitve, by the use of descriptive words creating a certain impression. ...read more.

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