Good Essays
Throughout this whole 20th century, the values in our society are changing all the time. Compared to now, towards the end of 20th century, some of the ideas introduced in the early century are very different. D.H. Lawrence’s Snake is one of a group of poems entitled Birds, Beasts and Flowers written between 1920 and 1923. It tells of how Lawrence reacted when he saw a snake while he was living in Sicily. The poem can be interpreted in three different ways.

The first possible theme is the idea that the natural, instinctive person is superior to the civilized person and that civilization robs people of their capacity for happiness. Jean-Jacques Rousseau began this idea - often referred to as “the noble savage” - in the 18th Century and
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He feels horrified, showing his fear of being buried under the dark ground.
“And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,
And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther,
A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole,
Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after,
Overcame me…”
He tries to stop the snake entering the hole by throwing the log, showing his desire to avoid death.

His regret for throwing the log shows that he accepts that he must die. He sees the snake as a lord of life like Pluto and thinks that death may be a wonderful though frightening experience.
“For he seemed to me again like a king,
Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,
Now due to be crowned again.
And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords of life.”

Lawrence uses the metaphor of the Underworld to represent death again in one of his last poems, Bavarian Gentians, in which he shows a greater acceptance of death and asks for a gentian to be his dark torch to guide him through the Underworld.
“Reach me a gentian, give me a torch!
Let me guide myself with the blue, forked torch of this flower
Down the darker and darker stairs, where blue is darkened on blueness
Even where Persephone goes, just now, from the frosted September
To the sightless realm where darkness is awake upon the dark
And Persephone herself is but a voice
Or a
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