D. H. Lawrence (Snake, Tortoise Shout, Humming-Bird) BY Piscess_88 D. H. LAWRENCE (1885 – 1930) Hardy and Yeats belong to the upper classes; however, D. H. Lawrence is a working class poet and novelist. Both Hardy and D. H. Lawrence write outstanding novels and they are famous in both of the literary forms. Hardy depicts nature in terms of pessimism like William Butler Yeats and D. H. Lawrence portrays pessimism through the sexuality that stands for the blood for himself. In Freudian psychology, the snake symbolizes the male sexual power.
However, in D. H. Lawrence’s poem entitled Snake”, the animal stands for the innate glory of wild beings and the vulgarity as a whole and the pettiness of the human beings is narrated. Secondly the snake in the poem stands for traditional values and it also symbolizes the indecisiveness of the human beings when they are faced with dangerous things. Hardy and Yeats dwell on the human beings but D. H. Lawrence depicts the bestiary in the depiction of animals. In Hardys “Last Words to A Dumb Friend”, an elegy to a pet cat is studied.
In another poem by him entitled “Snow in the Suburbs”, there is a reference to a black cat. But none of the cats have symbolic meanings. But the animals in D. H. Lawrence’s poems are all symbolic. SNAKE First Section: In the first section a snake comes to the fresh water-trough in front of D. H. Lawrence’s garden in order to drink some water under a dark carob-tree. In the meantime the poet Joins the scene with a pitcher and realizes that a snake comes from the earth fissure. Apart from this, the yellow-brown animal attracts his attention when he is sipped throughout the way.
At this stage the snake symbolizes power because it is poisonous and can harm anybody similarly in William Butler Yeats’ oem entitled “Sailing to Byzantium”, and “Byzantium” country represents the power but this is power in perfection and civilization but the snake’s power is physically in terms of the philosophy of Darwin. So that the more powerful can get over the one that is weak and cannot express himself. Second Section: In this section, the setting is given a day of Sicilian July when Etna Mountain was smoking. Because it was in fire it was too hot and the snake wanted to drink some water.
From time to time, ne IITtea nls neaa Trom nls arlnKlng an a TllcKerea nls TorKea and poisonous tongue. The writer knows that such snakes in golden colour are very angerous and at one stage he wants to kill the animal but he is paralysed and cannot do anything. The best way is for him to stand still. Third Section: In the first and the second section, the snake symbolizes fear and the awakening of dangerous feelings. In the third section, we see the poet as a round character and the snake stands for a peaceful and a pacified being in a nature where a volcano is in fire.
So, the bad sides of nature is depicted but the snake is cool and in perfection. Therefore, at this stage, Lawrence confesses that he likes the animal and it symbolizes perfection in emotions. Fourth Section: In this stanza, psychological insight of the poet is narrated. The place is in Sicily where D. H. Lawrence had a house and observed a lot of things here. So as in Hardy and Yeats, autobiographical experience is narrated. The poet asks why his cowardice takes part in seeing the animal and probably because it was poisonous, he could not kill the animal.
Seeing that it appeared mild, the poet wants to get in touch with the animal out of curiosity. Furthermore, he realizes that the animal symbolizes humility for he does not harm the poet and therefore he feels honoured to see such an nimal with innate feelings. In the poem, there are two lines from the collective unconsciousness of the poet that says he did not kill the animal out of fear but Lawrence knows that this was true in the beginning but later on he noticed the perfection of the animal.
Noticing something is called an epiphany in literature as it was also seen “In Memory of Major Robert Gregory’, poem by William Butler Yeats. Fifth Section: In this stanza, the poet admits that at first sight he was afraid of the animal, but he is also aware of the fact that a kind of hospitality between them took place and this is art of the perfection symbolism of the animal in the bestiary. Sixth Section: In this section, the image of the snake as the God is portrayed. D. H. Lawrence says that it is “unseeing” because God cannot be seen as creator in anyway.
So, at one stage, the position of animal is God-like. The poet points out that the animal lifted his head and flickered his tongue like a stormy night as the simile in the poem indicates ana Tlnally Olsappear T ea or a wnlle unaer tne eartn near Lawrence. Seventh Section: tne wall garden 0T D In this section, the snake symbolizes the horror belonging to him, because he thinks hat his life is not guaranteed outside but inside the hole he is on the safe side. Apart from this, he protests against human beings who harm him. In this section, he feels more confident in the hole rather than near the trough.
Eighth Section: In this section, the animal is seen in two living parts in order to reproduce from the old body. From the point of view of the poet, this is a miracle because even male snakes can copy themselves. The first section of the animal was straight but the second section was convulsed. It could not come into existence and it faded away, ut because the animal was divided into two and the first section was alive, at this stage, the animal symbolizing fascination for the poet. But life is paltry, vulgar and mean to living organism because the rest of the animal did not survive.
D. H. Lawrence points out that he has accursed human education to keep the animal alive by turning it upside down continuously. Ninth Section: In this section, the poet points out that the snake again symbolizes the God as the king of Christianity, but he is a king in exile, meaning people are afraid of this snake and they want to be far away from this animal. Symbolically D. H. Lawrence points out the corruption in religion. Beforehand, Christianity had a crown, but now one cannot see this crown in anyway and people are seem in pettiness.
The last line of the poem indicates that Tormina is a village in Sicily and it is the closest place to the volcano. Volcano Etna harmed the human beings and the arable lands and the Christian people harmed themselves through neglecting the important verdicts of Christianity. This was a time when corruption was seen in religion in Europe and Asia. TORTOISE SHOUT Hrst section: The nature of sexual energy through the shapes of animals, namely the tortoise is arrated. Male and female tortoises are in courtship. In this section, the tortoise is said to be dumb.
In Thomas Hardys poem entitled “Last Words to a Dumb Friend”, the cat is also dumb; because of the gun shock, especially small animals suffered from the sound of war and they turned out to be dumb. D. H. Lawrence points out that the animal is crying like a mad man because he will copulate soon. It is also pointed out that the tortoise is very huge. In this stanza, the poet says that human beings cannot help being with the opposite sex because they are not finished in ourselves. Apart from this, Lawrence says that hen we were born, we were alone.
So, why do we need another person for sexuality when we grow up? For Lawrence, sexuality had negative effects when it repeated continuously. In this section, the audible scream of the tortoise comes nearer and nearer although the animal is far away. The sound of the male tortoise appeals to the plasm of the female tortoise. The poet says that, this reptile cries so much that the membrane of people are torn away even the veil of the male tortoise that is crying is affected. Here the tortoise is a sex symbol and it narrates an observation by D. H. Lawrence.
In this section, the tortoise resembles an eagle that is about to fly, because it leaves its shell and cries like an eagle in order to attract the attention of the female tortoise. Secondly, it is pointed out that the animal is tense because he cannot control his feelings. Apart from this, the tortoise symbolizes a ghost because the animal has wrinkles and is like an old man. Moreover it symbolizes eternity because all living organisms are entitled to take part in sex. Hardy says that the animal also cries like the bull-frogs when a snake is Jumped over them. Apart from these, goose, gurgles, eifer are all narrated in weird.
For this reason, it is the time for sexuality; however, the poet does not enjoy this very much because the sounds of the animals disturb him and they appear to be strange for the ear of D. H. Lawrence. He points out that the coition and the yell continues for a long time and he is unable to hear anything apart from these things. HTtn section: The fifth section points out that sex breaks up the integrity of people because people cannot think in silence. The First World War had already destroyed the human beings, therefore people are not in integrity and these sound pollutions also destroy he comfort of people.
Apart from this tortoise, many birds are crying for sexuality but the sound of the tortoise resembles the cry of Christ when he was crucified. Apart from this, Osiris, The king of the animals, cried so much when his animals left him. So, the sound of the tortoise also resembles the cry of Osiris. The final line of the poem is important because D. H. Lawrence says that human beings would like to attain the integrity throughout the universe in an age where there is the First World War. So, the sound of the tortoise breaks into the integrity in the world in this poem. This poem, like previous one, dwells on the bestiary.
HUMMING-BIRD Humming-birds symbolize the exotic world in central America. These birds turn out to be dumb at a very young age as they are sensitive to the noise. They are also found in Britain and these ones are also dumb because of the First World War. In the second stanza, the poet points out that during the genesis the humming-birds were among the first creatures that came into existence and they enjoyed drinking water from the stems of plants. At this stage, Lawrence does not use any symbolism. I nlra section: Critics point out that, D. H. Lawrence was careless while he was writing the third stanza.
He says that there were no flowers during the creation of the humming-birds but flowers visualise themselves as vegetables and in this stanza these animals are drinking the liquid of vegetables. The Aztecs (who had lived in Mexico) believed that the souls of dead soldiers who were killed in war entered into humming-birds and there they enjoyed eternal life. D. H. Lawrence spent four and a half years in Mexico and observed the exotic animals. So, the bestiary in this poem is not the British symbolism but the Mexican bestiary that was even popular in ancient times.