What is the theme of “Snake” poem by D.H. Lawrence?

2 Answers

  • One can find social and religious themes throughout the poem.

    Social as in societal class structure of wealthy, middle class, poor dominating existence. The man owns the trough; he goes to fill up his pitcher; but a “majestic” snake drinks water from the stone trough first. This doesn’t bother the man, and he actually finds the snake not threatening, but honors him as though the snake was of the higher class, “honored” still:

    “……That he should seek my hospitality

    From out the dark door of the secret earth.”

    And when the thankless snake crawls through a black hole, the man is angered, and throws a log at the snake. It doesn’t hurt it except a piece of his tail. And the man immediately feels regret (religious theme, read on the ending of the poem):

    ” And immediately I regretted it.

    I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act!

    I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education

    And I thought of the albatross

    And I wished he would come back, my snake.

    For he seemed to me again like a king,

    Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,

    Now due to be crowned again

    And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords

    Of life.

    And I have something to expiate:

    A pettiness.”

    Religious Theme: “And I have something to expiate”, the man seeks religious atonement for his pettiness in hurting the snake who had not harmed him in anyway, the very same snake he holds in high regards and admires.

    He wants to repent his pettiness.

  • The Rocking Horse Winner a Feminist Reading of D.H. Lawrence’s The man that does not know sick women does not know women. “The Rocking Horse Winner” is the story of a boy’s gift for picking the winners in horse races. An omniscient narrator relates the tale of a boy whose family is always short of money. His mother is incapable of showing love and is obsessed with the status that material wealth can provide. This paper will explore the premise that D.H. Lawrence presented the figure of the mother as the villain; a loathsome, unloving character with no commitment to genuine values. This evil mother figure will ultimately be the “male-destroyer” by turning her “nameless” husband away and, in essence, killing her young son, Paul. Hester, Paul’s mother, is incapable of loving others. “Only she herself knew that at the center of her heart was a hard little place that could feel no love, no, not for anybody./ Only she herself, and her children themselves, knew. They read it in each other’s eyes.” Keywords: obsessed with money, rocking horse winner, omniscient narrator, vivid description, femme fatale, windfall, evil mother, mother figure, paul hester, horse races, d h lawrence, feminist reading, mothers face, genuine values, loving others, sick women, material wealth, The Unlucky Rocking Horse Winner In the short story, The Rocking Horse Winner, D.H. Lawrence shows how the bourgeoisie are miserable as a result of their hunger for money. The theme, materialism corrupts man, is portrayed throughout the story. It is apparent that Lawrence is complaining or criticizing the bourgeoisie lifestyle. Clearly, the mother and father want to present themselves as rich people to the rest of society. This need for acceptance by the mother is shown when Lawrence states, Only she herself knew that at the center of her heart was a hard little place that could not feel love, no, not for anybody. Everybody else said of her: She is such a good mother. She adores her children. Only she herself, and her children themselves, knew it was not so. They read it in each other s eyes (Lawrence 75). Since they do not have enough money to keep this fassade alive, they become miserable in their search for more money. Greed plays into this family s lifestyle Keywords: rocking horse winner, money is good, heart, bourgeoisie, amount of money, dumb waiter, lifestyle, preoccupied, d h lawrence, good mother, mother and father, literary concepts, material gain, glaciation, critiquing, materialistic, scott lawrence The Necklace” by Guy De Maupassant and “The Rocking Horse Winner” by D.H. Lawrence have two women in these stories that show no care or concern for anyone but themselves. Hester and Mathilde both had families that they truly did not love. And they were only involved with them for social reasons and to have their selfish needs provided. They finally righted the way they lived but only because they lost something or someone of importance to them. Mathilde always thought that she should be someone of wealth or at the very least married someone who was rich. She was a beautiful woman that had all the tastes of a family with great prosperity. Only she was not prosperous as she married a clerk. Maupassant writes that Mathilde “…let herself be married to a little clerk at the Ministry of Public Instructions” (Maupassant Page 976). She never married for love but married for what she had to settle for. A woman does not let herself become married, should be for love. Keywords: guy de maupassant, mathilde, material possessions, rocking horse winner, delicacies, tastes, love, conceited, selfish needs, d h lawrence, beautiful woman, new dress, luxuries, she loved, amount of money, greed

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