Review of Snake by D.H. Lawrence
*Carob-tree: a red flowered tree originally in the Mediterranean area.
* pitcher : tall, round container with an open top and large handle.
* flickered: moved
* mused : think about
* bowel: bottom of earth
* perversity: offensive
* log: tree trunk
* clatter: v. loud sound of hard things hitting
* convulsed : violent movement
* writhed: to twist and turn in great pain
* paltry: worthless
D.H. Lawrence belongs to the 20th Century. He was interested in the
idea of contrasts. Most of his writings deal with the conflict between
opposities such as instinct and artificiality apects of modern life,
good and evil, light and darkness, man and animal. He believed that
human nature in general is made of opposities.
"Snake" is a 74 line free verse poem. It incorporates a narrative
element recording the poet's encounter with a snake at his
water-trough .This poem was written when D. H. Lawrence and his wife
were living in Taormina ,Sicily in 1920. This poem is derived from
Lawrence's actual experience there.
The setting is a hot July day upon which the poet takes his pitcher to
the water-trough , where a snake is drinking The poet here recreates
the image of the traditional snake which is usually associated with
evil. He introduces two types of snakes ; the literary snake and the
allegorical one. He suggests an allegorical(metaphorical) meaning to
the idea of the snake. The snake , according to Lawrence represents
Nature that ties Man to the earth .However, he criticizes the way the
Man in modern age deals with this nature and how he tends to destroy
it as a result of his education or civilization.
The protagonist in this poem is torn between two voices, that of his
education, which tells him that the snake is dangerous and should thus
be killed immediately and that of his soul, which feels that he is
spirtually linked to this snake that honoured him " I longed to talk
to him". The voice of the speaker 's education is considered the voice
of the reason of human civilization while that of his soul is that
which glorifies Nature. Therefore, the relationship between Man and
Nature is clearly traced here , where the voice of nature is
represented through the image of the snake and the albatross for both
are associated with nature while the speaker here is associated with
human culture , with industry which according to the poet abused human
- The first five stanzas establish the scene and provide the occasion
for the poet's initial, sensual description of the snake. The poem
begins "on a hot hot day," there is nothing special about this day
except the appearance of that snake. The poet shows that the behaviour
of this snake is very natural. He...