How effectively does Hughes convey the power of the jaguar?
Ted Hughes’ poem ‘The Jaguar’ describes the animals in a zoo and their lifestyles. It also compares them to the jaguar, which is an animal that lives differently to the others in the way that it views its life. The poem depicts the jaguar as powerful, but in what way?
The first line of Ted Hughes’ poem the jaguar is:
“The apes yawn and adore their fleas in the sun.”
From the very first three words it is clear that the apes are tired, and the fact that they are in the sun adds to the sleepy air. I think this line was deliberately chosen to begin to convey the monotonous lull of everyday life in the zoo and set a drowsy mood. They are “adoring” their fleas, which is not a word commonly used in these circumstances. Playing with fleas is normal behaviour for apes, but the use of the word adoring suggests that they are glad of the distraction in their lethargic state. From this line, the apes do not sound threatening, more bored.
The second line has a rather different tone; it tells of the parrots that screech as if on fire. Parrots do indeed screech, so this is literal, but it has connotations of pain or perhaps boredom. Obviously they are not literally on fire, so these words could have been chosen to help exhibit their brightly coloured plumage or to remain with the painful image and to display their banshee-like screaming. The end of the line includes enjambment and expresses how the parrots strut like “cheap tarts to attract the stroller with the nut.” “Cheap tarts” may also have connotations of the bright, tacky colours of parrots’ feathers, but the parrots also mean to attract attention with their screeches and strutting.
Evaluate the effectiveness of diction as an adjunct to meaning in John Updike's "Player Piano." In "Player Piano", John Updike uses personification to give life to a unhuman' piano. By using diction to communicate his ideas, he effectively allows the reader to explore the psyche of a "Player Piano." In the first couple lines of the poem, assonance and consonance are present. In line one, these ...
Line three goes on to speak of the tiger and lion, who are apparently “fatigued with indolence”. Again the tone is of sleepiness and possibly boredom, and the idleness of the animals in question. The animals are tired, and in the wild they would probably be more likely to be hunting rather than lazing about in the middle of the day.
This particular line is also an example of enjambment, as it runs into the next verse. The last words of the first stanza are: “tiger and lion” and the first words of the second are: “lie still as the sun.” The end of the first stanza is therefore going on to a different subject, which intrigues the reader into moving to the second stanza. Again the word “sun” is used, so the warm, drowsy image returns, and as the sun is stationary, so are the animals. The following lines include some especially carefully chosen diction, as they describe the boa-constrictor which has a coil in it’s tail, which supposedly “is a fossil”. This metaphorical sentence is quite powerful, as the use of the word fossil depicts the stillness of the snake and also suggests that it may have been in such a position for a long time. This is also supported by the use of a metaphor rather than a simile, which would have left some room for the possibility of the snake only being similar to a fossil at that particular moment. Also, fossils like ammonites are coiled in shape so it is therefore a justified comparison.
The end of the second line of stanza two is: “cage after cage seems empty” which signifies the monotonous appearance of the cages, which hold very little activity as all the animals therein are barely moving, hence again the use of the word fossil in the metaphor. Basically, the animals are dull and not a very piquant sight for visitors. The next line uses the alliteration “stinks of sleepers”. This is reminiscent of the snake’s hissing tone, so a snake-like theme has affected this stanza. I don’t think it means that the sleepers literally stink, just that there is a strong ‘flavour’ of doziness in the air, as if there is no activity to interest the visitors. Some of the sleeping animals themselves are hidden under straw, so the author uses another metaphor and suggests that the straw is breathing. It is quite amusing to think of straw inhaling, but it is also not very good value for money to spend a day watching piles of straw instead of animals. The final line of the stanza is quite an interesting one:
Would you like to be kept in a restricting cage all day long, or for any amount of time at that matter? Animals should not be restricted to a small cage for any amount of time, it can affect their health, cleanliness, and their overall well-being. For us humans to be doing this to animals is not fair at all. Animals shouldn’t be kept in cages because of their mental health. It can cause them to be ...
“It might be painted in a nursery wall.”
This is reverting back to the tone of unnatural behaviour of the animals that has already started to be explored in previous lines. The animals, which in the wild could be threatening and very dangerous, are not acting on their usual instincts and instead are choosing to lie about in a kind of stupor that makes them appear harmless and approachable and generally unnatural. The animals look so unnatural in fact that they could be painted for a frieze suitable for children. These types of pictures are simple and depict the animals as friendly and humble whereas in reality animals like tigers are extremely menacing and far more complex. The animals are not as they would be if left to their own devices in the wild, where there is more space and other animals to interact with.
The next stanza opens with the following line:
“But who runs like the rest past these arrives”
This line does not explain of whom it is in regard therefore we have yet to learn that the animal is the jaguar. Immediately it strikes me as being a far more active situation than all those described in previous verses. The use of the word ‘but’ is quite efficacious in that it immediately breaks the tone and the reader knows that something different is about to be described. I believe that the reference to ‘the rest’ indicates the rest of it’s kind rather than the rest of the zoo animals. Already it is evident that this animal is living more as it would in it’s natural environment, which is quite refreshing in comparison to the droning lifestyles of the other animals encountered earlier. The word ‘arrives’ at the end is connected with the next line which begins with ‘At a cage’, so to clarify, the animal has arrived at a cage. (In fact, the entire verse is one long sentence, so it is therefore difficult to quote directly without sounding slightly perplexing.) The cage at which the creature arrives is observed by a crowd, which “stands, stares, mesmerised”. The people are captured by the animal and in awe of it. The monosyllabic words are used with the effect of being abrupt. The crowd appear to be standing and staring very suddenly in amazement, which is in sharp contrast to the other animals, when the crowd were not captivated at all, instead finding the animals somewhat dull and not enchanting in the least (see quotation “cage after cage seems empty”).
Grabbing the audiences’ attention Going to the zoo seems completely normal and extremely fascinating for most families, but what happens behind the scenes is where going to the zoo doesn’t seem all that realistic. Thesis There are many reasons why it is not right for wild animals to be caged up and taken away from their homes and put into a zoo for public display. MP1 The animals inside of zoos ...
The next sentence commences with the words:
“As a child at a dream”
This simile insinuates that the crowd is unabashedly staring at this spectacle, incredulous and not hiding their incredulity. The end of this line is:
“At a jaguar hurrying enraged”
which counteracts the sense of child-like innocence that has just been depicted with it’s strong words ‘hurrying’ and ‘enraged’. The jaguar is certainly dissimilar to the other animals in every way that has been described. It is swift and angry whereas the other animals were sleeping or “fatigued with indolence”. The jaguar is “hurrying enraged through prison darkness after the drills of his eyes”. More negative images are conveyed here; prison, darkness, drills. The images of the sun and nursery walls are banished. The jaguar is in captivity so literally imprisoned and the darkness that surrounds him is not the darkness that a free jaguar encounters but rather the hostile darkness that surrounds a prisoner. He is running after his eyes, which are metaphorically described as drills because they are so piercing and striking. The jaguar is not following a sound or smell, in fact he is following nothing but his eyes and therefore his instincts.
Stanza three finishes this, and the next stanza completes the sentence with:
“On a short fierce fuse”.
Again the abrupt diction is effective in that the words are written in their definitions i.e. short and fierce themselves. The three words depict the short temper of the jaguar and therefore its powerful and corruptive nature quickly but accurately. The subtle use of alliteration is also employed for this reason. Also, the words are following on from the use of the word ‘drills’, which run on electricity and therefore are indeed on a fuse, so it is also his eyes that will not last long and not only his temper. The words are separated skilfully as the three powerful words that follow the imagery of drills might quash the effect.
I will be stating my reasons to why I think it is cruel to keep animals in cages. My definition of this topic is: cruel: Causing pain or suffering to innocent animals or living organism. Cages: A structure of bars or wires in which animals is confined. I will now state my arguments: There are examples all over the world where animals have been taking from their homes and then stuck in cages for ...
The second line says that the eye of the jaguar is “satisfied to be blind in fire”, meaning that the jaguar is ignorant of suffering, by his own choice. The image of fire is not dissimilar to that of the sun, but fire is more threatening to people than the sun as the sun is obviously too far away to cause immediate pain but fire is fierce and foreboding and therefore a powerful image.
The following line is also part of the same sentence which has been separated by a comma in this instance. The line is:
“By the bang of blood in the brain deaf the ear”
which is alike the image prior to it of the ignorance of suffering, so the jaguar chooses to ignore the throbbing blood that he can sense. His eyes are blind in fire and his ears deaf to his pounding blood. ‘The bang of blood’ indicates a growing intensity, and the monosyllabic words propose an impression of urgency and the growing intensity depicted adds to this gripping representation of recklessness. Compare the jaguar’s urgency to the animals that lie ‘still as the sun’ and there is a contrariety both effective and engrossing. The final line of the fourth stanza outlines the actions of the creature – he ‘spins’ from the bars in his animosity rather than swing from them in a nonchalant fashion. The conclusive line is part of this sentence also and declares that there is “no cage to him”. This metaphor indicates the jaguar’s view of his life in captivity – he doesn’t seem to see himself as trapped like the other animals appear to, rather a creature of free will who acts as he wishes.
The next stanza opens with the ending to the preceding sentence with the words “More than to the visionary his cell”. This metaphoric sentence continues my point about the jaguar being an animal who does as he likes, whose only entrapment is the cell. Although the cell is there, it is not an issue to the jaguar. He may do whatever he wants within the confinements of the cage and this is the way he perceives his life. This is a clever contrast to the image of the other animals like the tiger and lion, who lie sleeping under straw in their cages. These animals seem to envisage their cages as suppressing whereas the jaguar succeeds in forgetting his confinement. This is reinforced by the proceeding sentence, which describes his stride as “wildernesses of freedom”. This again discusses the wide open spaces that the jaguar feels he occupies, as he is just held inside the walls of his cell and they won’t hold him back from being what he is – a creature of the wild who hunts for survival. His individual stride is enough to strengthen his hopes, or so it seems, as his walk is wildernesses of freedom, of courage depicted in this movement. “The world rolls under the long thrust of his heel” boasts the penultimate sentence. The jaguar is a ruler, a king in his own right, and he has the power to transport himself back to his homeland in his mind. He feels that the world is his oyster, and his disregard of the cage that confines him fortifies this belief. He is free to reign over the world in which he lives, and he still seems to believe he lives in his homeland due to his abject ignorance of the cage. The final line also delineates this:
They Cage the Animals at Night is a heart-wrenching autobiography in the form of a novel. This book is written by Jennings Michael Burch, who is the main character. His father is an often drunk alcoholic and has left a family of six boys to his wife. The oldest is George, who follows the steps of his father and also gets drunk. He is also a smoker. Contrary to his father though, he tries to ...
“Over the cage floor the horizons come.”
The jaguar is seeing his homeland, where he was free to “run like the rest” and see the horizons on the vast plains. He believes he can see the country and so the cage floor is unimportant and serves only to accommodate the deserts or forests of his country. The jaguar is in command of his own private country as he sees it, but in reality he is only the ruler of his own cell. The jaguar is a powerful, majestic presence.
To sum up my points, I have first written of the bored, monotonous lives of the animals in the zoo. I have compared their lives with the life of the jaguar, who lives life very differently because of the way he beholds it. The crowd at the zoo is not very interested in the zoo creatures until they encounter the jaguar, and is so stunned to see an animal living as it would in its natural habitat that they are enthralled by it. The jaguar is depicted as powerful in that the crowd is in awe of it, and this is very different to how they see the other animals because he acts as he would in his natural home. Therefore the jaguar has power over the watching people because he is grabbing their attention and in effect controlling them. The jaguar has also been depicted as powerful in comparison to the other animals, who have let the cage become their way of living. The jaguar instead is totally ignorant of the cage and instead still believes himself to be in his old environment, and since he is by himself he is automatically the ruler of his environment. He is powerful in the way he moves, which is with refinement and at some points rage, because he moves in a way that illustrates power. He believes himself to be powerful and therefore he is.
Please type the answers of the following questions: 1. What function, other than hearing, do the African Elephant’s ears serve? Answer: The African elephant uses its ears as signaling organs. Ears are also used to regulate body temperature and are used as a protective feature in the African elephant to ward off potential threats. 2. What color is the rump of a Hamadryas Baboon? Answer: The rump of ...
Overall, the poem successfully describes the jaguar as a powerful being in every respect addressed in the poem.