Brushed Essay

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In the poem Bushed by Earle Birney, the entire poem is a metaphor, taken literally it can be considered just a short story about a man trapped on a beach. He wakes up early in the morning, aware and very energetic. He goes to sleep every night feeling secure. He lives a pleasant and quiet life. He learns how to survive by eating porcupine bellies and keeping their quills as a prize for his hunting and survival skills: "wore the quills on his hatband". Taken on the metaphorical level it is all about a man who created a perfect life fore him, a rainbow as Earle Birney put it. But unfortunately, it's only his ignorance that was making him feel this way. His perfect life was ruined by some unknown catastrophe "But lightning struck it shattered it into the lake-lap." He discovered the truth or in other words, the real world. He refers to lake-lap as the calm life he was leading, always monotone and continuous that was disturbed by the incident that may have ruined his life. Yet this man faced this as a new beginning, as a survivor. Birney uses the roasting of the porcupine bellies as a symbol of his facing the difficult situations that faced him in stride. He uses those situations to his advantage and takes pride in the way he handles them hence the reference to keeping the quills in his hat. In the third stanza Birney shows us through a series of symbolic actions the characters development in his approach towards the whole situation. At first our character is still hesitant and alert at all that is happening around him, " At first he was out with the dawn." Yet he becomes more and more sure of himself and feels very secure, " A guard of goat before falling asleep on its feet at sundown." Earle Birney uses the goat as a metaphor for security because a goat does not fall of the rocky mountain tops that our character is getting for. In the last stanza the poem changes tone.

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