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Compare and Contrast the way Language is used to convey perspective In 'The Rabbit Catcher' by Both Plath and Hughes.

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Introduction

Gregory Andrews 12S Compare and Contrast the way Language is used to convey perspective In 'The Rabbit Catcher' by Both Plath and Hughes Sylvia Plath initially wrote 'The Rabbit Catcher' in 1962. It detailed the events of a daytrip to the country and her feelings towards some rabbit traps she found. The subtext of the poem was that of the marital strife she was going through with her husband Ted Hughes. Ted Hughes wrote a series of poems called 'the Birthday Letters' which detailed his perspective on the poems his late wife wrote. One of the poems he covered was The Rabbit Catcher. Plath opens her poem with a powerful depiction of the countryside around her. She summarizes the scene in the first line, 'It was a place of force-', suggesting that the very land around her is charged with energy, which plays off with the powerful emotions of anger and sorrow she is feeling. ...read more.

Middle

"I tasted the Malignity of the gorse, its black spikes..." She uses the theme of colour to essentially foreshadow the coming events of her discovering the traps with the uses of 'black spikes' and 'yellow candle-flowers', as these two colours in combination are a sign of caution. Hughes, when he came to describe the same scene, describes it as tranquil place, offsetting the 'blue push of the sea-wind' with the natural beauty of forests and great cliff tops scenes. "It seemed perfect to me..." This line seems to sum up how differently the two poets contrasting perspectives on events can effect how they describe the place. Plath often switches from narrative to first person throughout her poem. This gives the effect of showing that is not only her inner self that is torn with emotional strife, but that the whole world around her is in some degree of turmoil, at that time, in that place. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the last stanza of each poem, the marital problems they were having are addressed. Plath chooses to use the traps themselves as metaphor for the issues they were having, showing us that she felt that she was caught in the relationship and it was killing her slowly. "Tight wires between us...sliding shut on some quick thing, the constriction killing me also." Hughes chooses to explore what she was feeling by talking of what she had metaphorically caught in the snare. He makes out that in those traps she had discovered something inside her self, something dark that she did not wish to address, switching the blame for all the negativity back to her. "You'd caught something... Was it your doomed self, your tortured, crying, suffocating self?" The over-riding impression each poem gives us completely contradicts the other, which we can assume was the point. Plath and Hughes lived at opposite ends of the spectrum, neither of them fully knowing how to deal with their relationship, so the only thing left was to express their individual thoughts and feelings in their poetry. ...read more.

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