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Hunting Snake by Judith Wright


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Hunting Snake

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Hunting Snake by Judith Wright

  1. 1. Hunting Snake By: Judith Wright
  2. 2. Judith Wright (31 May 1915 – 25 June 2000) She was a lover of nature. Her work is noted for a keen focus on the Australian environment, which began to gain prominence in Australian art in the years following World War II. Judith was well known for her campaigning in support of the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef and Fraser Island. With some friends, she helped found one of the earliest nature conservation movements.
  3. 3. Stanza 1: Analysis ● A picture of harmony and calm : “Sun-warmed in this late season’s grace” The word “sun” sets the weather as beautiful and the word “grace” gives a harmonious touch to the portrait. ● She uses meliorative words such as “gentlest” that suggest a calm and delicate atmosphere. ● The fact it was “half-through a pace” reinforces the idea of surprise, they did not have time to think or finish their action they were stopped in the middle of it. The fact this snake justifies stopping their walk shows it is potentially dangerous. ● In the last verse of the stanza, the cause of the freezing is identified, “The great black snake went reeling by”. The word “black” suggests something dark and therefore probably menacing, this contrasts with the use of the adjective “great” which is a strongly positive word. This represents the mix of fear and awe the watchers have.
  4. 4. Stanza 2: Analysis ● This stanza is dedicated to showing the beauty and strength the snake has. ● “he quested”, the snake is here linked to a knight gone on an adventure. On the one hand a knight is a brave soldier fighting for his king, he is a hero. On the other, he is a violent person that kills many people and can be perceived as ruthless. Once again, the author shows the mixed feelings she has about the snake. ● “diamond” shows the breathtaking beauty of the snake. ● “we lost breath”, the snake causes them to stop breathing, due to their fear.
  5. 5. Stanza 3: Analysis ● He is for the first time revealed as a true predator, nothing here is sugar coded like in the past. This is not the time for awe anymore, it is the time for fear. It is a creature that will kill. However, the author does not choose to be completely explicit and instead of saying the snake’s intent is to kill, she says “fierce intent”. This makes our image of the snake less savage, it just shows its power, instead of depicting it as a monster. ● This stanza reveals the power of the snake and describes it as a predator.“Fled” The snakes causes fear and everyone runs away from him, afraid they may be eaten. ● The repetition of “went” in one verse shows that the author has difficulty formulating words as she says herself “we scarcely thought”. She has trouble expressing herself at this point. ● “Our eyes went with him”. They are awed and cannot take their eyes off this snake they cannot move until it leaves, they are powerless facing the snake.
  6. 6. Stanza 4: Analysis ● “cold, dark and splendid”. Summarised description of the snake . ● “prey” = he is clearly revealed a predator. ● “deeper breath” = calm atmosphere returning. ● “went on” = the snake has gone, they can now move, their life continues.
  7. 7. Glossary Reel: a rounded object or cylinder or other device that spins and is used to wind up or let out wire, rope, film, etc. Flicker: to burn unsteadily. Trail: to follow the track, trail, or scent of; track. Scarcely: probably not. Quested:the object of a search; goal or target. Track: a path made by or as if by the feet of people or animals; trail. Fierce: furiously eager or intense. Prey: an animal hunted for food. Fled: to run away from, as from danger or pursuers; take flight from.