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Comparison between Farmhand and She Dwelt amon the untrodden ways

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Introduction

The poem Farmhand by James K. Baxter is about a self-conscious male who is only at easewhen working on the land. In contrast, She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways by William Wordsworth focuses on a girl called Lucy who has just died; she is described using natural metaphors. Baxter wrote his poem in the 20th Century, and Wordsworth wrote his in the 19th Century; despite the different eras both the poems' characters are closely related to nature. Even though Lucy and the Farmhand both seem at first glance very simple, and are ignored and judged by people before they are known by them; deep down they are complex are best understood when considered in relation to their natural environment. Through these poems, both poets express the viewpoint that people shouldn't make assumptions, and that there are personal feelings and experiences beneath the surface. The poem Farmhand is about a character who feels out of place and uncomfortable when he is around girls, even though he wishes that he had one to make him feel manly and 'run her fingers through his sandy hair'. The Farmhand thinks about them though, as he has 'awkward hopes' and 'envious dreams' that he likes to dwell upon, but that he obviously doesn't tell anyone about as he finds them almost embarrassing. ...read more.

Middle

Baxter directly links ploughing, one of the chores of the Farmhand, to the nature of the ocean as the 'earth wave breaking' when the plough runs over it. It is obvious to the reader that when the character is farming, he is in his element as his looks do not affect the way he does his job, in fact his 'hairy hands' are of use. The sound of a tractor engine to most is noisy and loud, but when the Farmhand is listening it is described almost as a song, that he is at ease the fact that it is 'clear, without fault', and finds its tune perfect-like a lover to it's partner. When forking bails of hay, it is easy to him, and his hands that had been clumsy around delicate girls on the dance floor become in tune to the job he performs effortlessly as the nature of it is part of him. He is given no name, and known through out the poem as the 'Farmhand'; this gives the impression that he is known by most by this name, and he lives for his job. All the stanzas contain enjambment, with only a full stop at the end of each, this could be interpreted that each stanza is a story or message alone. ...read more.

Conclusion

might be that she is the brightest and best for Wordsworth; another complement that could come from it is that Venus is also the goddess of love. The use of both the violet and the star implies that she is more complex, and has more depth, than when she meets your eye, or it might be about her personality, she is, at first, shy (the violet), but when you got to know her she was as vibrant as a star. It could also be that she was as beautiful as both as star and a violet. Lucy could be referred to as the 'child of nature' as she lives among the 'untrodden ways' could be interpreted that she lived in the woods, or somewhere when there was bareness and remoteness, where no one had been before. I think that both the characters in the poems are shy, but the Lucy in She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways does not mind because she is contented with her solidarity. I believe the Farmhand is the more powerful poem because his awkwardness around females and the contrast with the farm emphasizes his true place in life more effectively than the idea that Lucy is hidden from the rest of the world and her death. ...read more.

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