The Shark

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In “The Shark” by EJ Pratt, the poet tends to use “he” when referring to the shark. The poet also describes the shark in a way that leads us to think that the shark is a symbol representing war. The poet suggests this by using metal descriptions of the shark such as “sheet iron”, “three-cornered”, “knife-edge”, “tubular” and “metallic grey” (4-6, 10, 19-20). So it could be that the poet is doing this to associate the shark with weapons used as war alas the association of metal in the poem. In my version, the shark is “she” rather than “he”. This changes the meaning of the poem. The meaning that I am trying to send to the readers is how women tend to think of each other. In the original version, the poet associates the shark with metal description. In my version, the metal descriptions as mentioned above are now “pennant flag”, “silvery grey”, “keen-edge” and “cannular” (4-6, 10, 19-20). Women are different from men. They do not use violence to solve matters, but rather they use their words and intelligence. When using these words, you can feel the change of tone from a harder tone to a softer one which is similar to the difference of violence and words. In line 15, the shark snaps at a flat-fish. In my version also line 15, the shark only glowers because females are not as aggressive as males. Females tend to look down upon other females just as the shark is doing in the poem. Throughout “The Shark” by EJ Pratt, the poet places a lot of effective diction such as “leisurely”, “stirred”, “snapped”, “flash”, “shearing and “lithely” (2, 7, 15,17,23-25). These words are effective due to their tone and meaning. Comparing “snapped” to “glowered”, “glowered” has a less dangerous tone (15). In my version, replacing all the effective diction changes the tone of the poem. In the original version, the poet describes the shark in a way that guides us to believe that the shark is an impenetrable, fearless and powerful creature using metal descriptions of the shark such as “sheet iron”, “three-cornered”, “knife-edge”, “tubular” and “metallic grey” (4-6, 10, 19-20).With the changes of the diction, the feeling is no longer there and now creates a feminine feeling of the shark, where the shark seems less terrifying due to different wording such as “lithely” to “slenderly” (24). In the original version, there is repetition of the word “leisurely” which is now “casually” (2, 25).

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