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PRATT AND MELVILLE SHARK POEMS

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Introduction

Tiffany Chesson 8i Wednesday April 16, 2008 How do Pratt and Melville portray the same animal differently? In this essay I am going to show how to authors differently represent the same animal. I am going to do this by looking at a number of different poetic devices and comparing the use of these poetic devices to describe the animals in a different way. This question is asking me to show how the two authors both explain the sharks' looks and personality in a different light to the other author. Both poems are about a shark, they both describe the sharks looks and personality they also reveal how the shark makes the writer feel when the writer watches the shark. My argument is to show how both authors write about the animals differently but use similar poetic devices. Both poets use imagery to describe the sharks, they use metaphors and similes, "Like a piece of sheet iron" This simile describes the shark as being cold, hard and unbreakable like metal by doing this the shark is being portrayed negatively. ...read more.

Middle

Melville describes the shark as the, "pale sot of the Maldive sea" This shows the shark moves ungracefully, like a drunkard, he is obvious when he is coming as he cannot swim in a straight line this can also be seen as strength as when a drunk man gets very drunk ha can get violent as a result of the drink, this could also be referring to the shark being drunk, but not on alcohol, on fish this again shows power as he would have to be very powerful to get so many fish. The poets describe the sharks' movements completely different however they are both incredibly effective. Pratt makes the shark seem in control of himself but Melville makes the shark seem unorganised and not in control of his movements. Although they are differently shown the authors both show the sharks power and strength through the way the sharks move. In, "The Shark" the author writes that the shark "snapped at a flat fish / that was dead and floating" this shows power ...read more.

Conclusion

The use of commas here calls attention to the looks of the shark as it creates a sort of list, a list of all the sharks looks, the list then adds effect because some of the sharks looks as the list states many words with similar meanings. Melville and Pratt both successfully use caesura to explain their animals' looks and the caesura works brilliantly with the punctuation used. I feel that both Melville and Pratt successfully describe their animals although they describe them differently they both use similar poetic devices to grab the readers attention and therefore describe the animals brilliantly. Pratt describes the shark throughout the poem where as Melville gives the poem a difference by writing bout the shark and the pilot fish. This works very well as although there are more topics being described by Melville than there are by Pratt there are not too many topics being described. So the reader can easily understand both poems and follow the poems. ...read more.

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