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How Ted Hughes presents Nature as superior to Man using the poems - Work and Play - The Warm and the Cold

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How Ted Hughes presents Nature as superior to Man Using the poems: Work and Play The Warm and the Cold In the poems 'Work and Play' and 'Hawk Roosting' by Ted Hughes, nature appears to be presented as superior to man. Each poem presents this in a different way. In this poem, the humans are compared to the swallow. The swallow is shown as a more intelligent being than the humans. It is shown as a beautiful, agile creature, described using words and phrases such as 'A blue-dark knot of glittering voltage', 'cartwheeling through crimson'. These phrases make the swallow seem as if it is very graceful. In contrast, the humans in the poem are depicted as disgusting creatures. ...read more.


This is suggested by phrases such as 'A whiplash swimmer, a fish of the air',' the swallow of summer, the barbed harpoon', and 'a boomerang of rejoicing shadow' describing the swallow. These phrases all suggest speed and agility. However, the description of the humans is very different, with phrases such as 'To cringe in the sparkle of rollers and screech','...but what can they do?' and 'A car full of squabbles, And sobbing and stickiness'. These phrases, describing the humans, all suggest helplessness. The parts of the poem describing the humans are very different to the parts of the poem describing the swallow. While the parts of the poem describing the swallow sound very calm and relaxed, the parts describing the humans sound more tense, as the rhythm appears to change. ...read more.


The comparisons made in this poem are mostly quite unusual. The poem 'The Warm and the Cold' shows nature seemingly overpowering man. It shows some similarities to the poem 'Work and Play', as both portray man as being weaker than nature. Also, both portray nature as being very beautiful. Another similarity between the two poems is that a negative, disgusting image of humans is presented, although this is only shown at the end of the poem 'The Warm and the Cold'; 'The sweating farmers Turn in their sleep Like oxen on spits.' This image is quite an unpleasant one, and contrasts with the beautiful images of nature which Hughes forms. In both of the poems, Hughes contrasts the beauty of nature with the ugliness of man, and nature is shown in both poems as superior and more powerful than man. ...read more.

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