ted hughes


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ted hughes

  1. 1. M.A English 4thSection (A)Mufeeza RaufAfsheen AkramAyesha sulamainMehreen ShahzadiQ1. Ted Hughes’ conception of Nature is marked by recognition of violence and aggressionthat corresponds general mode of his age. Discuss.Ted Hughes was born in Yorkshire. It was ‘rugged country of bare moors and mountains,often cold rainy and windy in summer and bleak and snowy in winter’. These were thecharacteristics which were found in the people of that place. This place has wild and untamednature and mostly the laborer lived there. He was described as the poet of blood and violence.He uses carnivorous animals in his poetry which are considered dangerous, like hawk,and pike which has evil in his nature, fox which is supposed to be very clever and crow to whichmany bad omens are associated. His poems reflect the problems of post war world man and hisalienation from the Nature. His poems are an attempt to unite human being with the Nature.According to Ekbert Faas ,Ted Hughes, in his nature poetry, hints at modern man’s self-exilefrom Mother Nature and of his last ditch effort to recapture some of her lost elemental force by apoetic invocation of plants and animals. (The Unaccommodated Universe p.16).These animals even though are very cruel in their nature but are connected to the MotherNature, but human beings who have sense of self have lost their contact with Nature. This is themisery of modern man who is suffering not only from inner but outer loneliness and isolationdue to two consecutive wars, advancement in science and technology and then the emergence oftheory of existentialism, because people have lost belief on the existence of God.If we see it with existentialist point of view, we found that the Nature is depicted in avery negative way, as it is very cruel and everything related to it has been showed destructively.It shows that people have lost their belief on the Nature. At one place in The Thought- fox hesays that, ‘the window I see no star’. It means that there is no light, no hope and no guidancefrom the Nature. The people have lost their faith on everything. And he uses the words, ‘darkhole of the head’. At another place in the poem Crow Alights, he uses the words ‘mushrooms ofthe nothing forest, clouding their spores, the virus of God. And he shivered with horror ofcreation’, here he puts the charge of spreading the viruses, which are very dangerous organisms,on God. At that time, because people have lost their faith and so they considered God and Nature
  2. 2. responsible for their wreck and ruin. At another place he says, ‘with no sole’, means in this postwar world, human beings have lost their souls, and were without any religion and direction.Unlike Wordsworth, who was pantheist, poet of Nature and the worshiper of the Nature,Ted Hughes has employed very dark and negative connotation regarding the Nature. Forexample in The Thought- Fox his use of juxtaposed vocabulary and images like cold, dark snow,midnight moment, clock loneliness, no star create darkness, loneliness, hollowness. These werethe characteristics of men of his time. Time which was an important theme at that time wasshown through the ‘clock loneliness’. It creates alarm and fear.Similarly Pike who is carnivorous, fresh water fish who eat dead things like vultures and‘dance on the surface among the flies’, is very cruel in nature as he says, ‘killers from the egg’,and even eat itself when it is hungry. He has used such cruel creature to highlights the beastsnature of human beings. His this poem reflects the circumstances of his age when people becamevicious like Pike, begun to kill their fellow human souls in order to get power and control andthere was the concept of survival of the fittest, means who is stronger, has the power to surviveand to live as in the poem Pike who is huge in size, rule over the sea and other animals are afraidof it. He uses the dark and the filthy imagery like ‘heat-struck lily pads’, ‘black leaves’, ‘ambercavern of weeds’. These all show the negative and bad sides of the Mother Nature.In the poem Crow Alights, he uses the words like ‘garbage can’- a container in whichwaste materials are thrown away- and associates it with the condition of modern and man of postwar world, that people have very bad conditions, and broken away morally and spiritually .In a nutshell it can be said that he uses the wild, ferocious, vicious aspects of the Nature,and through it he has depicted the conditions of post war world man.References:ann.skea.comwww.languageinindia.com