Traveling Through The Dark Analysis

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Throughout the history, humans have seen themselves as the dominators of the animals. People domesticate and do unethical experiment on animals. However, in recent years, as the morality and ethics become more comprehensive, humans begin to reconsider their relationship with animals. In both “Traveling through the Dark,” written by William Stafford, and “Woodchucks”, written by Maxin Kumin, the authors discuss about interventions of human beings to animals. Even though the two poems are different in the use of irony, the tone and the sentence structure, they illustrate similar relationships between humans and animals that humans are superior to animals. “Traveling through the Dark” and “Woodchucks” use different irony to represent their relationships…show more content…
In “Traveling through the Dark”, Stafford mostly uses objective language. out the poem, no emotional words exist. For example, when the narrator sees the pregnant dead deer, he says, “she was large in the belly” (line 8). It shows that he’s not describing the deer as a creature like humans, but rather a lifeless object. Also, the imagery described in this poetry is emotionless. When the narrator is contemplating, the environment is “the car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights; under the hood purred the steady engine” (line 13). Normally, environmental depiction works to establish the mood of the character. However, even though it is a scene when the narrator is contemplating, there is little indication of the mood. Setting such an emotionless depiction, Stafford creates an objective tone to show the difference between humans and animals. In the opposite, Kumin applies a rabid tone in “Woodchucks.” The plundering woodchucks are, under her pen nib, “nipping the broccoli shoot, beheading the carrots.” The personification used here creates a vivid image of the invasion of the woodchucks. “Beheading” is always a serious crime in human society. However, Kumin uses it to describe the behavior of biting carrots. The exaggeration helps to present the rage of the narrator and his hate towards the woodchucks. After killing all but one “Old wily fellow” (line 25), the narrator becomes even crazier. He dreams to kill the woodchuck that he sleeps with a barrel. The eagerness shows the enjoyment of the narrator from killing. The rabid tone represents that in this poem, humans and animals are
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