'Ted Hughes Represents Animals as Alien and Opposed to the Civilised Human Consciousness.' Is this an Accurate Representation of the Poems that you have studied?

Essay by wrightyHigh School, 10th gradeA+, February 2004

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Saying Hughes represents animals as alien and opposed to the civilised human consciousness is not a satisfactory answer or complete analysis of the seventeen poems that have been studied. It is only a generalisation. It is true that most of the poems do have animals represented as opposed to this human outlook in that the animals are shown to display cannibalism, extreme brutality, no remorse, a total lack of maternal grief as in Ravens, and, as in The Hen, the repeated killing of weak hens by the stronger. Though some portray animals with human qualities like a jaguar yearning to be back, with its freedom, in the 'wilderness' that was once its home. Saying that Hughes represents animals as alien and opposed to the civilised human consciousness is also taking things too far. He very frequently portrays animals as opposed to the current civilised human consciousness because animals, as humans did, rely more on their baser instincts and just have not evolved as far mentally, but is it then acceptable to call them alien? Maybe so, but only because the current human race is unable to relate to animalistic acts of cannibalism or brutality.

Hughes also describes the emotions, nature and instincts of an animal in his poems instead of using appearance to portray it as opposed to the civilised human consciousness.

In Pike, The Jaguar, Ravens, The Horses and Roe-Deer Hughes has seemingly tried to give the reader the impression that the animals live in a different place to modern mankind with different morals and ideals, being able to rely on instinct to survive.

In the poems, by Hughes, that we have studied there are many similarities between them and many of these can be linked to the title statement. For example in Pike and Jaguar references are made...