Comparing Poems 'The Surfer And Mushrooms'

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The poems The Surfer, by Judith Wright, and Mushrooms, by Sylvia Plath, both explore the idea of mankind’s subservience to the supremacy of nature. The Surfer has four stanzas, which are structured to describe the relationship between a surfer and the ocean. In Stanza One, the reader is led to believe the surfer is in control of nature and exhilarated as “he thrust his joy against the weight of the sea”. In the following stanza the observer warns the surfer to “Turn home, the sun goes down; swimmer, turn home” as evening falls and the sea begins to exert strength. The final stanza uses anthropomorphism, comparing the ocean to a snarling wolf who preys upon creatures, communicating to the audience that the sea has the greater strength. The surfer is not…show more content…
Inconsistency of rhyme develops tension, rhyming lines 7 “sight” and 9 “delight” in stanza one, lines 2 “sea-curve” and 3 “serve” in Stanza Two, and lines 2 “shows” and 3 “blows” in Stanza Three. As nature overpowers man, rhyme becomes more consistent. Plath also uses nature to explore power, employing mushrooms as an extended metaphor for the uprising of the oppressed. Plath’s Mushrooms is structured with 11 stanzas each of three lines each, conveying the order of nature. Although there is internal rhyme, “overnight, very/whitely, discreetly,/very quietly”, there is no rhyme scheme. The use of iambic pentameter (5 syllables in each line) creates a rhythmic beat, conveying the step by step growth of the mushrooms, symbolising the uprising of the oppressed people. The third line of Stanza Six, “Shoulder through holes. We” uses enjambment to create suspense. Natural imagery of the mushrooms and body imagery of a foetus, including “Earless and eyeless,/Perfectly voiceless”, “our toes, our noses” and “shoulder through holes”, reflects the growth of the oppressed as they rise as one united

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