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How does Ted Hughes convey the ruthless power and violence in animals through the poems “Pike” and “Hawk Roosting”?

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How does Ted Hughes convey the ruthless power and violence in animals through the poems "Pike" and "Hawk Roosting"? Animals are living things that we see in our everyday lives yet we don't seem to give them any importance. Very few people give them the respect they deserve. The poems I am going to compare are based on animals. The animals are given human qualities, which are done purposely by Ted Hughes to make us realize what we really are. Very few poets have chosen animals to take the lead roles in their poems. Ted Hughes is one of those few poets who have taken animals to play the lead role in his poems. Many of Ted Hughes poems have their subjects on predatory animals and birds. The latent feeling of violence and power in untamed creatures fascinated Hughes. In his poems, animals and birds are not decorative or incidental but central symbols of vitality. "Pike" and "Hawk Roosting" are the two poems of Ted Hughes, which I am going to compare. These two poems convey the theme of violence and power very clearly. The selfishness and self-centered attitude of the animals is another prominent theme in the play. These themes are brought out in various ways and various lines. Both animals, the "Hawk" and the "Pike" make it very clear that they want to be the dominant creatures in their respected habitat. Ted Hughes always has most of the most of the poems he writes with the name of the animal as the title. He tries to convey messages through his title but few can understand the titles' meaning without first reading the poem. The title of the first poem that is "Pike" is very straightforward. Through the title we know that the poem is based on a pike, which is a fish and on its life. But to understand the real meaning of the poem we have to read the first stanza of the poem. ...read more.


In "Pike" the lack of remorse is brought out through these lines. "With a sag belly and grin it was born with. And indeed they spare nobody." These lines show us that the lack of remorse is a part of the pike. It is like the pike has a gene, which prevents it from showing any remorse. The pike is grinning because it has killed another pike. So the pike is mocking the other pike for not being able to defend itself. The poet shows us that the pike may be powerful mentally as well because the grin could have been an outward appearance just to attack its victim. The line "And indeed they spare nobody" show us the cruelty the pike has and the way it kills any fish of its own species because it is afraid of losing its powerful position as leader of the place it lives in. this shows us that the pike is afraid of losing its position so he is not all powerful and fearless. The pike may lose its position anytime without even noticing it but this does not happen in the poem. It also shows that the pike is jealous because it is not willing to share its leadership with any other fish. In "Pike" the lack of remorse of killing others is shown directly but in "Hawk Roosting" the hawk's lack of remorse is brought out by the hawk's impression that it was born with the right to kill. So the hawk can kill anyone and anything and if it has the right then why show remorse. This is meaningless because if anyone was given the right to kill he/she would go on killing and there would be no way of stopping them because they have the right to kill. The hawk reveals his right to kill through the lines: "I kill where I please because it is all mine. ...read more.


If we know that he might achieve glory before us we may harm him in some way to remove the threat. Like R.L. Stevenson showed in "Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde", "Man is not truly one, but truly two". This shows that we may have a good attitude to others but we can become evil if we want to. Outward appearances are very deceptive. The strongest pike will only win. This is a direct revelation of man's nature. Only the strongest, fastest, or smartest can win. There is no other way. Now also we see that men quarrel with each other to share power and glory that we can get in this materialistic world. What they don't realize is that the real riches are in the next world and not this. An example of being materialistic is the fight between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. If they held a plebiscite for people living in it they could vote for the country they want. But this cannot work because either country cannot bear defeat and so they will continue on fighting. This is just our nature. Just as the pike was born to kill so to are some men born in this way. "Pike" and "Hawk Roosting" are two poems, which very vividly displayed the violent nature and cruelty in wild animals. Ted Hughes conveys his message very clearly to those who can understand what he meant while writing the poems. Though "Hawk Roosting" used forceful words and was more violent", Pike" still was the poem, which brought out the bad characteristics of man very well. Ted Hughes is a very good poet who wrote his poems really well. Though the poems have been written and people have read them they still don't understand the message he is trying to convey or they do understand but don't bother t o listen to it. The hawk and pike are two animals known for their violence and Ted Hughes portrays this violence very well in his poems. ...read more.

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