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The Jaguar - Animal Life

  • Date Submitted: 12/30/2011 11:05 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.1 
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With close reference to ONE poem, analyse how Hughes presents animal life.
Animal life is presented through contrasts between the jaguar and other animals in Ted Hughes Poem “The Jaguar”. The poem depicts Hughes observation of nature in action with animals that have been taken from their natural habitats and put in a zoo. He does this by illuminating the attributes of the other animals in contrast to the Jaguars’. Hughes does this indirectly as it can be inferred that the jaguar has a high status in comparison to the other animals as the Jaguar is described more than the other animals.
Hughes displays the nature of the animals in a zoo by using anthropomorphism to portray the lethargic movements of the apes, lion, boa- constrictor, tiger and the parrots in comparison to the Jaguar’s energetic, wild movements. “The parrots shriek as if they were on fire, or strut/ Like cheap tarts to attract the stroller with the nut”. Hughes presents the parrots to be attention seeking as they have to flaunt themselves to be seen by the ‘stroller’, the effect of the phrase ‘cheap tarts’ is that the parrots creates the image that they are less important than the jaguar and the reader thinks of them as inferior. He presents the apes to be deficient by giving them human attributes to highlight the fact that they ‘yawn and adore their fleas’. The minds of the apes have been captured by something small; this indicates that they lack intelligence.
Moreover, Hughes use of language gives the insignificant animals human attributes to depict boredom and stillness in contrast to the jaguars. The other animals are not as significant as the Jaguar because they are not mentioned as much throughout the poem. Hughes focuses solely on the Jaguar to describe its actions that suggest that the Jaguar is in control although it is contained. The animals’ minds are entrapped by the bars of their cage as they have been taken from their natural environment as opposed to the Jaguar that has not let...


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