SNAKE

 

Q.1.   Describe simply the arrival of the snake at the water trough and its departure back into its hole.

Or     Does the arrival of the snake at the water trough and its departure to its hole appeal you?

Or     Why is the poet glad to see the snake at his water trough?

 

On a hot summer day, the poet comes downstairs with a pitcher to get water. He beholds a snake at the water trough. The snake drags a long golden body slowly. It rests its throat on the stone bottom of the water contained. The water is falling from the tap drop after drop. The snake puts its mouth below and the water begins to fall directly into its mouth. He is deeply impressed to see the brown-colored snake with its soft belly resting at the edge of the container.

Then the snake lifts its head like cattle-and looks all around. It moves its two forked tongues, muses a while, and drinks again. It again lifts its head and looks at the poet. Different ideas come into the poet’s mind. He wants to kill it but does not, considering it his guest. Then the snake begins to crawl to its hole. Now it seems like the Lord of the underground world.

The poet throws a piece of log into the water. The noise of splash frightens the snake and it moves its remaining body hastily into the hole and disappears from the view. The arrival of the snake at the water trough and its departure appeal the reader also.

Q.2.     Discuss the subtle changes in the poet’s mood and relationship with the snake?

The poet presents various angles of human behavior in this poem. It contains subtle changes in the poet’s relationship with the snake.

On a hot summer day, when D.H. Lawrence comes downstairs with a pitcher to get water from a stone reservoir under the shady tree, he is surprised to see that a snake is already drinking water there. The poet stands and waits for his departure. During this short time, he experiences certain feelings and reactions of fear, horror, fascination, enmity, and finally regret and remorse.

He is caught between two forces. His education dictates him to kill the snake, as it is poisonous, fatal and enemy of man. But the voice of his intuition urges upon him to appreciate the physical beauty of the snake and to treat it as a guest. But the voice of his education overcomes him and he throws a log at the snake to kill it. The snake escaped but the poet feels himself repentant, petty, and means for his mean and vulgar act. He wants to expiate his action but cannot.

 

Q.3.     Why does D.H. Lawrence curse his education? 2007-I

Or       Why does the poet think of education as accursed? 2009 –I

Or       Why does the poet feel repentant after his encounter with the snake? 2008-II

 

On a hot summer day, the poet comes downstairs with a pitcher to get water. He beholds a snake at the water trough. The poet stands and waits for his departure. During this short time, he experiences certain feelings and reactions of fear, horror, fascination, enmity, and finally regret and remorse.

He is caught between two forces i.e. the dictation of his education and the voice of his intuition/conscience. His education, that is, his wisdom or logic, dictates him to kill the snake, as it is poisonous, fatal and enemy of man. But the voice of his intuition urges upon him to appreciate the physical beauty and the royal appearance of the snake and to treat it as a guest. But the voice of his education calls this response of his as cowardly and perverse and dictates him to kill the snake.

At last, the poet responds to the call of his education that he gets from his society and violently throws a log at the snake to kill it, but in vain. The snake escaped in a peaceful, pacified but thankless manner.

After the escape of the snake, the poet feels repentant, petty, and mean. It is here that the poet thinks of his education accursed. He feels regret and remorse at his mean and vulgar act. He wants to expiate his action but cannot.

Q.4.     What are the reasons that the poet departs the snake unhurt? 2009 II or Was it cowardice, perversity, or humility of the poet that he lets/departs the snake unhurt? Why does he think of expiation?

 

            It was neither the poet’s cowardice nor his perversity that he lets/departs the snake unhurt. It is his humility and the voice of conscience due to which snake departs unhurt. He treats the snake as a guest who has come from the depth of the earth. He gives him respect and honor. But he is caught between two forces. His education dictates him to kill the snake, as it is poisonous, fatal and enemy of man. But the voice of his intuition urges upon him to appreciate the physical beauty of the snake and to treat it as a guest. But the voice of his education overcomes him and he throws a log at the snake to kill it. The snake escaped but the poet feels himself repentant, petty, and mean for his mean and vulgar act. He wants to expiate his action but cannot. 145

 

Q.5.     What is the theme of the poem?

 

The poem points out how our feelings of affection are crushed by our social education. Our reasoning often misleads us. The poem arouses feelings of love and sympathy for all creatures in this world. The poet treats the snake as a guest who has come from the depth of the earth. He gives him respect and honor.

On a hot summer day, when D.H. Lawrence comes downstairs with a pitcher to get water from a stone reservoir under the shady tree, he is surprised to see that a snake is already drinking water there. The poet stands and waits for his departure. During this short time, he experiences certain feelings and reactions of fear, horror, fascination, enmity, and finally regret and remorse.

He is caught between two forces. His education dictates him to kill the snake, as it is poisonous, fatal and enemy of man. But the voice of his intuition urges upon him to appreciate the physical beauty of the snake and to treat it as a guest. But the voice of his education overcomes him and he throws a log at the snake to kill it. The snake escaped but the poet feels himself repentant, petty, and means for his mean and vulgar act. He wants to expiate his action but cannot.

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