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How does Oswald use the notion of contrast to create poetic effects on the reader in her poem Dart ?

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Introduction

Essay on Alice Oswald's Dart How does Oswald use the notion of contrast to create poetic effects on the reader ? In her poem Dart, Alice Oswald creates, among other poetic techniques, contrast. She employs this in the whole poem but also within it and its different parts. She uses the notion of contrast through three main couples of themes: life and death, nature and human nature, and the pragmatic and the poetic. The first main couple of themes, life and death, gives a sense of reality in the poem, but athe same time can be related to unreality. This is because of the aspects of pragmatism and poetry. Dart starts by giving an identity concept: a walker is physically and psychologically discovering himself. The expression ?moving alive? shows a detailed exploration of life; it show us the unusual logic of the poet: in this case unmoving but alive and moving but dead. The poet wrote this to emphasize the visual aspect of the man, what she sees when looking at him. In fact, the voice of the poem itself stands for identity: ?summoning itself by speaking?. ...read more.

Middle

This efficiently shows that she respects nature and that she won't let it be touched or influenced by man and civilization. And finally, the swimmer passage is also concerned because we notice a real link, relation built up between the swimmer and the water: ?I steered through rapids like a canoe? suggests that he's in control and guiding the water, but right after, ?digging my hands in? shows how powerful the water might be and how fast the stream is, and ?what am I, spelling the shapes of the letters with legs and arms? makes us feel like the body is becoming an onomatopoeia and part of the water, and this suggests a lack of control, unlike the first quotation. And again, this extract shows us how the river is preserved as well as nature, and that they have kept their wild and natural side. Another signification of nature is that it represents the fundamental qualities of a person or a thing. Identity and the presence of an essential character are implicated here; and this is why the walker extract has to be noticed. It is the very first passage of the poem and the walker is the first character evoked: ?Who's this moving along the moor? ...read more.

Conclusion

Human nature can be defined as the unique elements that form a basic part of human life and distinguishes it from other animal life. We recognize this signification particularly through the naturalist and the swimmer parts: because in the swimmer passage we notice a reference to an animal: ?we change ourselves into the fish dimension?. The word ?into? particularly emphasizes the transformation implicated. And the naturalist extract is the one where we find the more animal enunciations: ?frogs?, ?Butterflies?, ?heron?, ?eel?, ?otter?. In fact we notice that he pays no attention to capitals at the start of the sentences but that he does care capitalising animals; the importance given to nature and animals is then clearly shown and proved here. So Alice Oswald does talk about nature at first, and then builds up human nature theme with and through it. By the way, her poem ends up with the part of the sealwatcher; the verb 'to seal' also means to close up securely. So we can say that, at the end, the author seals her poem. Alice Oswald uses the notion of contrast through the whole poem and especially within three main couples of themes (life and death, nature and human nature, and pragmatism and poetry) and these essentially help feeding the poem with emotion and to communicate these feelings to the reader. ...read more.

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