The snake - e-CTLT

Report
D.H Lawrence
Born: 11 September 1885. Eastwood,
Nottinghamshire, England.
 Died: 2 March 1930. Vence, France
 Occupation: novelist.
 Nationality: English
 Period: 1907–1930.
 Genres: Modernism.
 Notable works:Novel: Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow,
Women in Love, Lady Chatterley's Lover
 Short Story: Odour of Chrysanthemums, The Virgin
and the Gipsy, The Rocking-Horse Winner
 Play: The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd
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The poet adopted a simple, mild, clear,
colourful, descriptive and imaginative
choice of words to portray his points.
These make the poem to be picturesque.
STYLE /
STRUCTURE
THE POEM IS A FREE VERSE, HAVING NO SPECIFIC
RHYMING PATTERN. THE POEM’S FIRST PART TALKS
ABOUT THE ARRIVAL OF THE POET AND THE SNAKE
WITH A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SNAKE. THE
SECOND DIVISION TALKS ABOUT THE MODE OF THE
DRINKING OF THE SNAKE AND THE PATIENT ATTITUDE
OF THE POET. FURTHERMORE, THE THIRD SEGMENT
FEATURES THE POET’S MIND CONFLICT ON WHETHER
TO KILL OR SPARE THE SNAKE. THE NEXT SEGMENT
PORTRAYS THE RETURNING OF THE SNAKE AND
LASTLY, THE REMORSE SHOWN BY THE POET WAS
EXPRESSED.
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A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas
for the heat ,
To drink there.
In the deep, strange-scented shade
of the great dark carob-tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher And must wait, must stand
and
wait, for there he was at the trough
before me…..
On a very hot day, the narrator in his pyjamas, headed towards his water
trough to drink some cool and refreshing water, in order to beat the heat.
Little did he know that a wild snake from the neighbouring jungle had
crawled towards the water-trough too. The two are about to encounter each
other in a subtle way. In the deep strange-scented shade of the great dark
carob-trees, the narrator came down the steps with his pitcher. He suddenly
saw the snake, stopped and waited, for there the snake was at the trough
before him.
…..He reached down from a fissure in
 the earth-wall in the gloom
 And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over
the edge of the stone trough
 And rested his throat upon the stone bottom,
 And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small
clearness,
 He sipped with his straight mouth,
 Softly drank through his straight gums into his slack long body,
Silently…..
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The snake reached down from a fissure: a narrow opening, cleft
or crevice; a splitting apart or break; cleavage; to crack, split or
cleave; in the earth wall in the gloom; a dark place: and trailed
its yellow brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of
the store trough and it rested its throat upon the stone bottom.
The water had dripped from the tap in a small clearness. The
snake sipped with its clear mouth and softly drank through its
straight gums into his slack long body, very silently.
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…..Someone was before me at my water-trough ,
And I, like a second comer, waiting .
He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,
And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,
And flickered his two-forked tongue
from his lips, and mused a moment,
And stooped and drank a little more,
Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of
the earth
On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna Smoking….
Someone was before the narrator at his water trough and he
is waiting like a second comer. The snake lifted its head from
its drinking and starred at the narrator very vaguely, in some
manner as the cattle do. It flickered its two forked tongue
from its lips and mused a moment, and stooped and drank a
little more. Its appearance is earth brown, earth golden from
the burning bowels of the earth on the day of Sicilian July,
with Etna smoking: a very active volcano in Sicily, Italy.
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…..tHe voice of my education said to me
He must be killed,
For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous.
And voices in me said, If you were a man
You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off. But must I
confess how I liked him,
How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my watertrough
And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,
Into the burning bowels of this earth?
The voice of the narrator’s education said to him that the snake must be
killed: for in Sicily, the black snakes are considered to be innocent while
the golden collared are considered to be venomous. The inner voice
instigated him by reminding him that if he were a man, he would take a
stick and break it now to finish the snake off. However, the narrator
must confess how he liked the snake. How he was glad that it had come
like a guest in quiet, to drink at his water-trough. The snake then
departed peacefully, pacified: peaceful and thankless, while he returned
into the burning bowels of this earth.
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……WaS it cowardice, that I dared not kill him?
Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him? Was it humility,
to feel so honoured?
I felt so honoured.
And yet those voices:
If you were not afraid, you would kill him!
And truly I was afraid,
I was most afraid, But even so, honoured still more
That he should seek my hospitality
From out the dark door of the secret eartH…..
Was it cowardice that the narrator dared not kill the snake?
Was it perversity that he longed to talk to it? Was it humility
to feel so honoured? Yet the narrator felt so honoured. Those
voices that spoke to him saying that if he was not afraid, he
would kill it, and truly he was afraid and was most afraid. But
even so, honoured still more that the snake should seek his
hospitality from out of the dark door of the secret earth.
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……He drank enough
And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,
And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,
Seeming to lick his lips, And looked around like a god, unseeing, into
the air,
And slowly turned his head , And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice a
dream,
Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round
And climb again the broken bank of my wall-face……
The snake drank enough and lifted its head
dreamily as one who is intoxicated and drunk,
while flickering his tongue like a forked night on
the air so black. It seemed to lick its lips and
looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,
and very slowly turning its head as if thrice a
dream proceeded to draw its slow length curving
round and climb again the broken bank of its wall
face.
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….and as he put his head into that dreadful hole,
And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and
entered farther,
A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his
withdrawing into that horrid black hole, Deliberately
going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself
after,
Overcame me now his back was turned.
As the snake put its head into that dreadful hole and as
it slowly drew up, snake easing its shoulders and
entered farther, a sort of horror and protest against its
withdrawing into that horrid black hole. It deliberately
entered into the blackness and slowly drew itself after,
overcoming the narrator, now that its back was turned.
... I looked round, I put down my pitcher,
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I picked up a clumsy log
 And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.
 I think it did not hit him,
 But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste.
 Writhed like lightning, and was gone
 Into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front ,
 At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.
 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…
 The narrator looked round, put his pitcher down, picked up a clumsy log and threw
it at the water trough with a clatter. But it did not hit the snake.
But suddenly that part of the snake that was left behind convulsed: to affect with
violent movements; agitate violently: in an undignified haste. He writhed: twist or
distort the body: like lightning, and was gone into the black hole. The earth lipped
fissure in the wall, in the front at which, in the intense still noon, the narrator starred
with fascination. Immediately, the narrator regretted it. He thought how paltry:
Neither having little or no worth nor value: how vulgar and quite a mean art. He
despised himself and the voices of his accursed human education.
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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
So he thought of albatross: a large web-footed sea-bird
with long narrow wings and a hooked beak: and wished
for the snake to come back. For the snake seemed to
the narrator again like a king in exile, uncrowned in the
underworld but now due to be crowned again. So he
missed his chance with one of the lords of life and he
has something to expiate: to atone for: a pettiness.
1. Unity co-existence between
animal
2. Patience
3. harmless attitude of animals
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4. Regret
5. Hospitality
man and
Poetic
devices used in the
poem are:1) Personification.
2) Alliteration.
3) Repetition.
4) Simile.
FIGURATIVE EXPRESSION
• Repetition: “hot” {line 2}, “must” {line 6}, “earth” {line 20},
“afraid” {line37}, “slowly” {line 46}, “a sort” {line 53}, “like a
king” {line 68 – 69}.
• Alliteration: “burning bowels” Line 20 -21}, “peaceful pacify”
{line 29”,“dark door ” {line 90}
• Simile: “had come like a guest” {line 28}, “…his tongue like a
forked night..” {line 43},“…around like a god” {line 45}
• Metaphor: “the dark door ” {line 40}
• Imagery: “pitcher ” {line 6}, “…brown slackness soft bellied”
{line 10

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