Compare/Contrast Traveling Through the Dark and Woodchucks

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Compare and Contrast Essay In the poems “Traveling Through the Dark” and “Woodchucks” man must make a decision about nature in the most inconvenient ways. In “Traveling Through the Dark” the narrator is faced with, literally, a life or death situation, whereas in “Woodchucks” the narrator is faced under the Darwinian belief about killing. Both poems reveal the interpersonal relationship between man and animal as well as the moral dilemma that man faces with nature. However, through the use of narration, vivid imagery, and personification, the poets show one speaker’s sympathetic attitude towards the animals while the other speaker has an adversarial attitude toward them. Stafford’s poem, “Traveling Through the Dark,” deals with the…show more content…
Kumin uses vivid imagery to describe the destruction that the woodchucks caused. “They brought down the marigolds as a matter of course” and “beheaded the carrots.” This introduces the speaker’s adversarial tone throughout the rest of the poem. She immediately seeks revenge on the woodchuck family. The author states that the speaker, at one point, was not a violent person. “I, a lapsed pacifist fallen from grace puffed with Darwinian pieties for killing.” Now, the author shows the speaker’s “survival of the fittest” beliefs in order to express the ongoing adventure of killing the woodchucks. She shot the smallest woodchuck first and watched it fall into the roses. The author provides more imagery to describe the manner in which the mother woodchuck died. “She flip-flopped in the air and fell, her needle teeth still hooked in a leaf of early Swiss chard.” By doing this, it is easy to imagine the ball of fur tumbling through the air, dead. Kumin shows the speaker’s seek for vengeance when she begins to kill all of the woodchucks. “O one-two-three the murderer inside me rose up hard.” Here, the revenge that the speaker is in search of is noticed. The author puts into her poem that the last woodchuck is an “old wily fellow,” implying that he is clever and sneaky. The

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