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

Vultures - poem review.

Extracts from this document...


Vultures In the greyness and drizzle of one despondent dawn unstirred by harbingers of sunbreak a vulture perching high on broken bone of a dead tree nestled close to his mate his smooth bashed-in head, a pebble on a stem rooted in a dump of gross feathers, inclined affectionately to hers. Yesterday they picked the eyes of a swollen corpse in a water-logged trench and ate the things in its bowel. Full gorged they chose their roost keeping the hollowed remnant in easy range of cold telescopic eyes ... Strange indeed how love in other ways so particular will pick a corner in that charnel-house tidy it and coil up there, perhaps even fall asleep - her face turned to the wall! ... Thus the Commandant at Belsen Camp going home for the day with fumes of human roast clinging rebelliously to his hairy nostrils will stop at the wayside sweet-shop and pick up a chocolate for his tender offspring waiting at home for Daddy's return ... Praise bounteous providence if you will that grants even an ogre a tiny glow-worm tenderness encapsulated in icy caverns of a cruel heart or else despair for in every germ of that kindred love is lodged the perpetuity of evil. ...read more.


* The concentration camp Commandant cannot escape the evil deeds he has spent the day performing - the fumes of human roast [cling] rebelliously to his hairy nostrils (line 32). The word roast makes us think of food, so it is doubly repulsive that he then buys chocolate for his tender child (or children) on the way home. Imagery and Sound Imagery * The opening of the poem is dark. The greyness (line 1) is heightened by the heavy alliteration in drizzle of one despondent dawn (line 2) and even the approaching sunbreak (line 4) does not lift the atmosphere. * There are metaphors of horror and death: the dead tree (line 6) branch on which the vultures are roosting is described in as a broken bone (line 5), while the male vulture's bashed-in head is a pebble on a stem (line 9) and its body is a dump of gross feathers (line 11). * In the second section, the vultures' affection leads the poet on to muse about the nature of love. Love is personified as a woman finding a place to sleep. ...read more.


Choose a short quotation to justify your choice. Ideas The ideas in this poem concern the relationship between evil and love. In the first part the vultures are used as a symbol for the paradox that evil and love can co-exist; in the second part Achebe uses the Belsen Commandant as an actual example of this. Have a look at the quotations below, and our suggestions about how they fit in to this theme. Key phrase Commentary Strange .. Strange is isolated in a single-word line. This makes us dwell on the word and prepares us for the image of love settled in an evil place. By the end of the poem, Achebe shows that even the most evil people experience kindred love, but that love is not powerful enough to halt the evil. ..they picked / the eyes of a swollen / corpse .. Achebe picks the most gruesome images he can find when describing the vultures to emphasise their evil. This prepares us for the human evil he goes on to explore. for in the very germ...is lodged the perpetuity of evil. It is poignant that Achebe concludes the poem with the idea of the predominance of evil. Evil is lodged within love - and evil is the haunting final word of the poem. ...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 Chinua Achebe: Vultures 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 Chinua Achebe: Vultures essays

  1. Explain what the poem is about and how the poet conveys the emotions he ...

    This was probably because the mother remembers singing to him, when they were happy. From line 15: "act of no consequence..." Combing her son's hair would usually be something a mother wouldn't think twice about. They were probably quite well off before they were in this situation.

  2. Chinua Achebe's main concern in "Things Fall Apart" is to portray the effect white ...

    He even becomes accepted by the elders of the clan. They may not agree with his beliefs and customs but they find him amusing and like him as a person. The way the elders accept Mr Brown as a person and don't heavily discriminate against him because of his beliefs shows how civilized they are.

  1. To what extent do you feel that Achebe intends the reader to be sympathetic ...

    This incident also had a long-term effect on Okonkwo. From then on his family would look at him as if it were his fault that Ikemefuna is dead. This episode can be seen as an event where Okonkwo looses some faith from his family. This corresponds to Okonkwo loosing faith in his father.

  2. Giving Things Fall Apart a Rhythm: Achebe’s Method and Purpose of Manipulating his Novel’s ...

    Achebe words sparingly to only describe events with a cold and matter of fact tone. The extent of the White man's involvement in the village and the Igbos' reactions to it are offered only as narratives, rarely integrating dialogue as a tool to explain and propel the plot.

  1. Vultures by Achebe is a very vivid and memorable poem. It has evocative images ...

    of people being cooked and burned, and it seems even more revolting as the reader probably visualises itself in the same situation. With this extremely inhuman scene the author originates a cruel image referred to Commandant, he is also shown as a very horrendous man when Achebe talks about the

  2. Comparison Between "Vultures" and "What Were They Like?"

    Some of the sentences are also juxtaposed so nice things are put next to negative things or the opposite. This degrades the joy in a way: "laughter is bitter to the burned mouth" Laughter is a positive and nice word but it is put next to bitter which is a negative word.

  1. Do you agree that Achebe shows an "awareness of the human qualities common to ...

    Despite having a high status by the end of the novel, Okonkwo's own pride and honour will not allow him to be colonised by the 'white men' and this leads to Okonkwo's suicide.

  2. Compare and contrast the poems "Vultures" and "Night of the Scorpion", analysing how they ...

    Just the same way as the commandant has two distinct lives never to be connected the evil never to corrupt the good, so the vultures seem to have a schizophrenic personality - loving and savage. The poem leaves us either reassured that in the midst of all evil there can

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