Analysis Of `` Snake `` By David Herbert Lawrence Essay

Analysis Of `` Snake `` By David Herbert Lawrence Essay

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Oscar Wilde quotes in one of his epigrams, “Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.” A conflict is a struggle that grows from the interplay of two opposing forces. Sometimes a conflict can be as simple as a decision, or it can be with a bigger, obscure force. In David Herbert Lawrence’s free verse poem, “Snake,” the narrator is torn between the voices of his education and his natural feelings; the prejudges of society can cause an internal conflict within an individual, making it difficult for the person to express his or her thoughts and second-guess their immediate reactions.
Society has its way of informing humans of its acceptable attitudes. In the poem, the narrator walks outside on a hot day to see a snake that was drinking from his water-trough. As the narrator was walking to fill up water, he was fascinated by snake and even waited to fill up his water so the snake had priority. However, the voices in his head conflicted with his thinking, making his instinct lead to insecurity. The narrator has learned that in Sicily, black snakes were innocent while the gold snakes were venomous. Because it was an earth brown and gold snake, he felt like he had to kill the it although it was innocently drinking water. The narrator feels the need to destroy the snake because “The voice of my education said to me, He must be
killed” (22-23). His “education” is his instinct feelings from the learned behaviors he has been taught. The thoughts in his head make him second-guess his admiration of the snake to make him think otherwise. Fear takes control of his thoughts because he knows if “he was a man” he would
kill the snake. The social attitudes automatically make him feel that the snake deserv...


... middle of paper ...


...like a king, like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld, now due to be crowned
again” (68-70). The narrator knew the logical intention of the snake, and he fathomed that the
reputation of the creature is one that is unacceptable in society, but within it all he understood the true value. He learns this after he throws the log and regrets his decision; he learns and overcomes his conflict by understanding the nature in society.
Throughout the stanzas in this poem, Lawrence conveys the message about the choice between instinct and intellect; every person has good in them, it just comes to the point if a human can overpower the evil and corruption. The conflict man vs. society can affect an individually inwardly and make them contemplate his or her thinking, but in the end we can use the gift of right judgement to think rationally and not overthink the situations.

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