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Discuss The Thematic And Symbolic Importance Of Animals In The Works Of Theodore Roethke, James Dickey And Other Authors Studied

523 words - 2 pages

Discuss the thematic and symbolic importance of animals in the works of Theodore Roethke, James Dickey and other authors we studied.Theodore Roethke and James Dickey use animals and the theme of nature throughout their works. Roethke was known for his use of nature, "greenhouses", and for the animal-like characteristics that he gave plants. In Cuttings, Roethke animates the plants with "stem-fur dries" and "tendrilous horn". In Cuttings, later, he refers to the sprouts as "slippery as fish" and in the Root Cellar, the bulbs are described as "hunting for chinks in the dark" and the tendrils of plants hanging are compared to "tropical snakes".The imagery of plants taking on animal characteristics is two-fold for Roethke. It connects all living things together, as we are connected to the plants, the soil and their growth. Also, the animal characteristics bring the plants "alive" as with breathing air as we do. Just by looking at flowers in a garden, you do not necessarily think of them as living, breathing organisms.Roethke's animal descriptions bring plants to life as well as animate them. In the poem, The Bat, Roethke begins with an innocent tone of describing the bat, almost cute as a "mouse". But then he continues his description with "human" characteristics of the bat, such as "˜his fingers ....about his head". This poem ends with an unsettling thought of our connection or link to nature, how closely related we truly are, "when mice with wings can...

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