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Snake - D.H Lawrence Essay

  • Submitted by: paddy
  • on March 9, 2009
  • Category: English
  • Length: 681 words

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Below is an essay on "Snake - D.H Lawrence" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Throughout the poem D.H Lawrence builds a mysterious persona for the snake which question what perspective the reader should have on the snake. The first point at which emphasis is laid on the snake to be unnatural creature: “Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earth.” This creates the ambience of a powerful and highly influential, God like creature from the fiery centre of the earth. This also contextualises the setting as the volcano of Etna is in Sicily. Line 28 also adds ambiguity to the amount of power the snake has; not only is the snake highly venomous but also has the key to the natural world. The snake’s uniqueness is also shown by the simile used (in line 33) which likens the snake to a god. As it makes the snake seem omniscient as if he knows all which is confirmed (in line 6) which says it ‘mused a moment’ a traditional godly characteristic. Ironically the snake seems to have a unusual trance over the man as well as being in a hypnotic state itself.

In a class debate many opinions are voiced and many are valued but often very few are accepted and I feel this is the same sort of situation. For many years of the mans life he would have been raised to kill snakes of gold colour as “For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous, and the voices in me said, if you where a man, you would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.” However the trance that the snake is holding on the man prevents him to do this and the frustration that the man feels towards his inability to follow simple cultural guidelines is clearly shown at the end of the poem.

The series of rhetorical questions the man asks himself clearly shows perplexity in his feelings towards the snake. Deliberating over the snake with the questions is significant as it shows he is prepared to question his masculinity. At that time and the culture expected men to be the protectors which is a very much a cave man instinct, which is...

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