Comparing Mountain Lion and Badger
These are two poems that were written at the beginning and end of the
nineteenth century. The views on animal hunting and animal cruelty are
very different today. Animals such as badgers were hunted for sport;
it was considered to be entertaining to track a badger using dogs and
capture and torture it until death. Animas such as the Mexican
mountain lion were hunted in Mexico for a profit, their fur was a
highly sought after fashion item and was sold at very high prices.
Both the poems describe animals that are put through a chase before
they are killed. The badger is portrayed as aggressive and fierce yet
he is demure, the first two characteristics are masculine but the
badger also seems to be in controlled and is calm and collected. The
mountain lion is portrayed as a beautiful, elegant creature. The
curves of her body also accent the curves in the hills of the
environment that she lives in, these are all feminine features. In
Badger the poet works more on building up the character of the badger
whereas in Mountain Lion the poet focuses more on the image of the
mountain lion, he concentrates a lot on describing the lifeless face
of the now dead mountain lion, " Her round, bright face, bright as
frost." And, "Her round, fine-fashioned head, with two dead ears:"
The imagery in Badger brings the poem to life; the poet uses
alliteration, "And drives the rebels to their very door." This puts
emphasis on the fact that the badger is fighting back and will do
everything in his power to survive. The word, "drive" is repeated many
times throughout this poem and is a metaphor that best describes the
way that the badger pushes the crowd on, it shows that he is in
control of the situation. In Mountain Lion the similes also bring the
poem to life, "like a Christmas toy." This really conjures up the
image in the reader's head of a bleak empty landscape. Repetition is
also used, "she will never" this brings home the fact that the
mountain lion is dead and all the things that were affected by her
will notice the loss and be greatly affected by it. At the beginning
the repetition of, "gun" shows that the poet's party become un-nerved
They are wary, as animals would be in the same situation. The
alliteration of 'f' in 'face', 'frost', 'fashioned', all add to the
perfection of this creature and how amazed the poet is. As the 'f'
sound is quite soft.
In Badger the poet sets the scene very differently to that in Mountain
Lion. Badger has a very busy and fast moving situation the beating
rhythm of the poem reflects this, it also shows the pounding beat of
the badgers heart as it is running for its life. There is tension as
the dogs and men enter on the scene.
During the poem the badger varies its reaction as though it is working
to a plan, like it is trying to fool the men, "runs along and bites",
and, "The badger grins." The strong rhyming couplets of Badger...