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'ted Hughes Represents Animals As Alien And Opposed To The Civilised Human Consciousness.'<Tab/> Is This An Accurate Representation Of The Poems That You Have Studied?

2354 words - 9 pages

Saying Hughes represents animals as alien and opposed to the civilised human consciousness is not a satisfactory answer or complete analysis of the seventeen poems that have been studied. It is only a generalisation. It is true that most of the poems do have animals represented as opposed to this human outlook in that the animals are shown to display cannibalism, extreme brutality, no remorse, a total lack of maternal grief as in Ravens, and, as in The Hen, the repeated killing of weak hens by the stronger. Though some portray animals with human qualities like a jaguar yearning to be back, with its freedom, in the 'wilderness' that was once its home. Saying that Hughes represents animals as alien and opposed to the civilised human consciousness is also taking things too far. He very frequently portrays animals as opposed to the current civilised human consciousness because animals, as humans did, rely more on their baser instincts and just have not evolved as far mentally, but is it then acceptable to call them alien? Maybe so, but only because the current human race is unable to relate to animalistic acts of cannibalism or brutality. Hughes also describes the emotions, nature and instincts of an animal in his poems instead of using appearance to portray it as opposed to the civilised human consciousness.In Pike, The Jaguar, Ravens, The Horses and Roe-Deer Hughes has seemingly tried to give the reader the impression that the animals live in a different place to modern mankind with different morals and ideals, being able to rely on instinct to survive.In the poems, by Hughes, that we have studied there are many similarities between them and many of these can be linked to the title statement. For example in Pike and Jaguar references are made to the single mindedness of both animals. The pike, driven by its killer instinct, choking to death on a larger pike and the jaguar, even while caged, blinded from everything else by only thinking about being back and free in the jungle. Hughes also uses uncommon emotions, cannibalism for example, in humans to portray the difference between the two. For instance in Pike an instinct to kill and keep on killing is shown and in Ravens a stillborn lamb is left by its mother who, we are told, could not be distinguished from the other 'quietly nibbling sheep' around it. Hughes constantly emphasises the very basic instincts of the animals in his poems from the killer instinct of the cannibalistic Pike to the protective and cautious instinct of the deer. It seems that in these poems Hughes is highlighting differences between animals and humans but ultimately we are one and the same. It was Sigmund Freud who determined that there were three stages of the human psyche, the Id which is the basic level that humans have now evolved out of but, as shown by the ability of animals to commit acts that would make most humans cringe such as relieving themselves in full view of everyone and in leaving weaker animals to be killed...

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