Essay on To a Mouse

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In the poems Robert Burns’ “To a Mouse” and “The Mouse’s Petition” by Anna Letitia Barbauld, many feelings and emotions about mice are brought forth. While both poems were written by different authors, many of the feelings they share towards mice are common. The analysis of the two poems will help to find the comparisons and differences in theme, political and social issues, diction, and tone. Examples from the poems will help to show the similarities and differences in the two.
The tone of each poet in the poems, many similarities become evident. Both poets portray a sad and guilty tone when talking about mice. When Barbauld begins to write about what she believes the mouse is feeling inside of the test cage, the reader gets an idea how
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Anna writes through poem that this act is unjust and should not happen to such a creature. Through the use of the poem she tries to tell the scientist “Beware, lest in the worm you crush, a brother's soul you find.” (Barbauld, l.35-36) Barbauld relates that killing a mouse is not morally different from taking the life of a fellow man. The poems theme is effective and pushes the reader to feel sorrow for the poor mouse. In “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns, the ongoing themes are guilt and fear. Burns knows what mice are up to, stealing his food from his crops and ruining his walls within his home to make homes of their own. Burns however, does not care because he himself feels guilty for the little mice. Burns feels like even though they may be a nuisance to some humans, the mice have no choice but to do these things to live to see another day. “I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve; What then? Poor beastie, thou maun live!” (Burns l.13-14) Burns explains why he is not bothered that the mice steal his food. Burns also has the theme of fear in his poem. The mice fear men, and for good reason, Burns is aware of this and makes minimal effort to scare the mice while they are at work. “An’ justifies that ill opinion which makes thee startle,” (Burns, l.9-10) Burns discusses how the fear mice have for men is due to the brutes who have no patience to understand what the mice go through. While the two poems have different themes, one

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