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Vultures and Night of the Scorpion

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Poetry Comparison Vultures by Chinua Achebe and Night of the Scorpion by Nissim Ezekiel The poems Night of the Scorpion and Vultures are both about noxious creatures; vultures are scavengers, feasting on the morsels of dead animal carcasses that they find, and scorpions are the poisonous insects of our worst nightmares. In Vultures, the vultures are compared and related with the Nazi Officer. But in Night of the Scorpion, the scorpion is not related to any person, although the scorpion is made out as the symbol of death. 'In the greyness and drizzle of one despondent dawn...the hollowed remnant in easy range of cold telescopic eyes.' The poet makes the vultures' entire personality a sort of paradox: Although yesterday they 'picked the eyes off a swollen corpse in a water-logged trench,' today they 'nestle close together.' 'His smooth bashed-in head,' the paradox of their characters is echoed in the imagery of the male vulture's head. 'Smooth' gives a soft, gentle feeling and 'bashed-in' makes a hard and grim feeling. ...read more.


The poet is saying that the solution is to kill the scorpion, as if they remove the scorpion, they would remove the poison. This makes the scorpion seem even more evil, as even after he has placed the poison within the speaker's mother, the poison will stay as long as the scorpion stays. Also the poet has written Mother's with a capital 'M' as if she is like a goddess; so in the poet's eyes the scorpion has poisoned a goddess and not just anyone, making the scorpion much more devilish than before. Unlike with the vultures, the scorpion has no loveable nature; it is pure evil and should not even exist. '...Thus the Commandant at Belsen...waiting at home for Daddy's return...' The vultures are now directly related and compared with this Commandant at Belsen, the Nazi concentration camp in Lower Saxony. Just like the vultures, the Commandant has a grotesque image, 'fumes of human roast clinging rebelliously to his hairy nostrils.' ...read more.


Fire is a theme running through much of the poem as the speaker mentions a lot about flames, lanterns and burning, and this relates to the burning in hell and of the devil once more. The two poems are quite different even though both speak of a noxious creature. The structure of The Vultures has long sentences and long clauses, showing there is no panic in the poem; there is hardly any punctuation as well, allowing the poem to flow smoothly and gently. Whereas the structure of Night of the Scorpion is with short lines and short clauses making it move quickly and rapidly, in a panic-stricken manner. To compare the two creatures from what we are told in these poems would show that the scorpion is the devil in an insect form, and the vultures are slightly misunderstood birds of prey. The Vultures is a poem about revealing the soft and affectionate side of both vultures and also Nazi officers, and Night of the Scorpion is about revealing the infernal and devilish disposition of the scorpion. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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