• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Critical response to "Behaviour of Fish in an Egyptian Tea-Garden".

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The poem I read was "Behaviour of Fish in an Egyptian Tea-Garden" written by Keith Douglas. I found the poem interesting because it contained excellent figures of speech and a good use of enjambment. "Behaviour of Fish in an Egyptian Tea-Garden" is about an attractive woman who is referred to in the poem as a white stone and different types of men who are referred to as different species of fish. The poem sets a scene of all the 'species' of men who are all trying to gain the attractive woman's attention so as to try and seduce her into having sex with them even though they know there is little chance of this happening! Throughout the poem you begin to realise that this woman is not going to be interested in the men who are in the tea-garden no matter how many sacrifice themselves to her because she needs a very rich man who is willing to marry her, keep her and provide for her for the rest of her life, she's out for what she can get - she is not interested in meaningless relationships. ...read more.

Middle

One example of this is at the end of verse one where it says "Her red lip on the spoon" and then carries this sentence through to the start of verse two "slips in a morsel of ice-cream." I find the technique of enjambment helps the poem because it coaxes the reader into paying more attention in trying to bring the poem together and help them understand it and it helps to increase the woman's seductiveness. Throughout the poem there are many figures of speech - mainly metaphors and the simile. One of my favourite metaphors is in verse five, "Captain on leave, a lean dark mackerel" throughout this poem it refers to the men in the Egyptian tea-garden as different species of fish however, I think this is the most cleverly linked comparison. The metaphor describes the captain as a mackerel and this suits him very well because a mackerel is colourful, handsome and fast - I think this describes this specific 'species' of man well because it is more than likely that he is interesting, handsome and fit with having the job of a Captain. ...read more.

Conclusion

The theme of competition I think plays a part in the poem because of all the different species of fish (men) competing to gain the white stone's (woman's) attention. For example the "cotton magnate, an important fish" whilst he is powerful and confident and perhaps assumes he has a chance with the attractive woman, the "crustacean old man, clamped to his chair" was forced to fantasise about the woman as he knew he didn't have a chance with her. The setting of the poem is in an Egyptian Tea-Garden. I think the setting of this particular poem is important because it sounds luxurious and somewhat exotic and that is how the personality of the attractive woman comes across. It is an ideal location for the woman to be in - it suits her. My response to the poem "Behaviour of Fish in an Egyptian Tea-Garden" as a whole is that it is an interesting subject which I found amusing. The poem is quite easy to interpret and I think the metaphorical names for both the men and woman made the poem more interesting and this poem would encourage me to read more of Keith Douglas' work. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sylvia Plath section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sylvia Plath essays

  1. Discuss the presentation of death within Plath's poetry, commenting upon how your view compares ...

    I will now progress and talk about the positive and creative death poems, of which I have chosen "Lady Lazarus" and "I Am Vertical". These poems show the creativity in different ways; "Lady Lazarus" shows the creativity manifesting as rebirth, while "I am Vertical" shows the creativity as a desire to become nature.

  2. How does Plath's use of extended metaphors and other literary features effect the reader's ...

    The tulips are said to appear to float but really weigh her down like her children. Plath says that "she is sick of baggage" again expressing feeling of her dislike for the outside world. This is backed up by lines such as " their smiles catch onto my skin little

  1. In the poem

    /I was ten when they bury you. /At twenty I tried to die/And get back, back, back to you. /I thought even the bones will do. //But they pulled me out of the sack, /And they stuck me together with glue."

  2. A response to 'Daddy' and 'Digging'.

    It is as if the speaker is obsessed, and has lost control of her argument, churning out panic-stricken thoughts. I feel that Plath very cleverly balances this spontaneity with complex metaphors in the poem, and this ranting style is a backbone to the structure of the poetry.

  1. How does the author's treatment of relationships effect the characterisation of the heroines in

    cannot be happy, although it seems that both would more willingly believe that their unhappiness is the fault of society, and the pressures that it puts upon people. There is a parallel in the way that both of the writers create central characters whose relationships with others lack warmth and

  1. What happens in the story? Superman and Paula Brown's New Snowsuit is a short ...

    Nowadays young children may well see violent or disturbing scenes in films and on TV programmes, but this would not have been so in the USA in the 1940s.) At the end of the story, the fantasy is destroyed forever - the blue capes dissolve and vanish "like the crude drawings of a child."

  2. How do Hughes and Hardy both use memory in their poems?

    He talks of Sylvia's red lips. Red traditionally signifies 2 things. Danger and love. There was definitely a sense of danger about her, as you find out later, but she had so much love to give, her lips must have reminded Ted later on in the relationship.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work