Twentieth Century Aesop’s Fables: How Ted Hughes Presents Modern Man through the Non-Human.

1400 WordsApr 23, 20196 Pages
Twentieth Century Aesop’s Fables: How Ted Hughes Presents Modern Man through the Non-Human. Ted Hughes’ poems mostly explore the world of nature. He uses ordinary animals like crow, pike, and skylark, but adding mythical quality to them. Animals in his world are superior to human and he seems to adore their brutality and instinct. He does not rationalize animal, which is unlike D.H Lawrence. Some criticize him for praising animals’ brutality and putting them on a pedestal, saying that animals are superior to us because they follow their wild instinct. In fact, the image of animals he creating represents modern society. In the same way as Aesop in ancient Greek portraying human traits through animals, Ted Hughes uses animals as…show more content…
Moreover, in the third stanza, Pikes’ presence brings darkness and horror to their habitat. Pikes’ world is a microcosm of the world that is full of brutality of human. After scientific and industrial revolution in Western Europe, Nature and wildlife are exploited and destroyed. We can say that human is the most selfish and violent in this world. In the fourth stanza, “The gills kneading quietly, and the pectoral”, meaning if one were to observe the pike without knowing its nature, it would appear harmless and in perfect harmony with its surrounding. This is similar to modern society. Modern man by appearance may look harmless but actually he can exploit other people without feeling guilty and may say that he does it with good intention. Another instinct suppressed by modern society is yearning for freedom. In the poem “Jaguar”, Hughes gives sharp contrast between instinctive animal like jaguar and other animals representing human. The poem begins with the idle animals at the zoo. They are bored and lazy doing nothing because they are not in their natural habitat but are captivated in the cages. They do not fight for their real nature and give up their instinct. For example, carnivore animals as tiger and lion lie idly, which is not their hunting nature. However, the jaguar remains unaffected by the imprisonment in a cage among other cages. His fearless and rebellious spirit is unchallenged. Its eyes seem to be burned with

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