Summary Of Woodchucks Poem By Maxine Kumin

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Woodchucks are tiny creatures that hardly bother man unless you wander into their territory. They are not known for vicious actions or even attacking a human unless like most animals, you come near their young. So if woodchucks are in fact not harmful creatures then why would one try and harm and exterminate their species? Maxine Kumin’s “Woodchucks” seems to be a poem about a farmer that tries to exterminate the entire population of woodchucks around his farm. However in my opinion this is not what one should take away from the poem. In fact the literal meaning is much deeper and darker than one may think. The literal meaning of the poem to me is the justification for mass murder of the Jews during World War II by the Nazis. The first stanza seems to show the farmer wants to rid of the woodchucks quickly and effectively without spending too much time on them. In fact the poem states “The knockout bomb from the Feed and Grain Exchange was featured as merciful, quick at the bone”. However gas does not kill quickly, in fact it slowly suffocates the target and leads…show more content…
He seems to be lost within the joy of killing when he says “Another baby next. O one-two-three the murderer inside me rose up hard.” Which Hitler himself became enthralled with soon losing sight of his reasons behind the “exterminations.” It is the last sentence in the last stanza that connects all of the dots. “If only they’d all consented to die unseen gassed underground the quiet Nazi way.” This quote is included to help show the much deeper more literal meaning of this poem. It also adds to the view that the farmer has gone from trying to save his farm from pests to trying to almost wipe the entire species of woodchucks from the earth. It also seems to show that he blames the woodchucks for not going down easily adding to the reader’s view of him becoming completely

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