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“View of a Pig” by Ted Hughes and “Tiger! Tiger” by William Blake

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In my essay I’m going to be looking and comparing the two poems « view of a pig » by Ted Hughes and « Tiger! Tiger by » William Blake, I will be doing this by working out the two authors’ true interpretation of their selected animal, what they feel that animals outcome will be, the physical and mental behaviour the author feels the animals portray and the authors feelings about their animal. In “The view of the pig” Hughes describes the pig as an object so lifeless it seems like it never had a life before, as if a piece of wood had more of a soul than the pig has now or ever seemed to have. We know this as the author writes, “One feels guilty insulting the dead, walking on graves. But this pig did not seem able to accuse. It was too dead.” This shows that the author feels that the pig he saw or imagined no longer resembled a pig but just a simple lump of lard and meat like you would see in a shop, the pig now seems to of lost all of his dignity, where as in the poem “Tiger! Tiger!” The selected animal (tiger) is a creature of such dignity as it is made by god we know this as the author writes,”

Did He smile His work to see? Did He who made the lamb make thee?” this shows that the tiger is full of dignity and power as only the hands of god, the most respected person in the world, should even dare to touch such a creature. In “The view of the pig” Hughes describes the pig like it was a big ugly/dull sack that no one cared about. We know this as the author writes, “It was like a sack of wheat. I thumped it without feeling remorse.” This shows that the pig in this state is not even worth looking at, something so insignificant that you could punch it and not feel sorry or any emotions for that matter! Where as in the poem, “Tiger! Tiger!” the tiger is such a beautiful sight it is compared to a beautiful glow of a fire, we know this as the author writes “Tiger, tiger, burning bright, In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye, Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?”

This shows that the author had admiration for the tiger and its vibrant colours. In “The view of the pig” Hughes describes the pig as a boring object just not anything of interest at all! We know this as Hughes writes, “Its last dignity had entirely gone. It was not a figure of fun.” This shows that the author had lost all interest and got bored of the pig, unlike in “Tiger! Tiger!” the tiger is described as a passionate and powerful, we know this as the author writes, “What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain?” this shows (as Hughes compares the tiger to metal) that the tiger is muscular mans animal, whereas a rabbit would probably be metaphorically made out of cotton wool – a lady’s kind of animal.

In “The view of the pig” Hughes describes the pig as just a heavy lump of meat and lard, just something to eat, we know this as Hughes writes,” Its weight Oppressed me – how could it be moved?” this shows that author no longer sees the animal for its spirit but rather for its meat value, whereas in “Tiger! Tiger!” the tiger is described like its’ made by god and the stars not meat, we know this as the author writes,” When the stars threw down their spears, and water’d heaven with their tears, did he smile his work to see?” This shows that the tiger is all powerful maybe even magical if the stars put themselves into the tiger, and that only god could have made something so amazing!

I prefer the tiger because of its life of glory, the poem describes the tiger in its magnificent form and that’s how everyone thinks about a tiger, it congers up passionately beautiful images in your mind and makes you feel happy and inspired by its’ importance, so important in fact that the author writes about the animal getting created by god! With the help of STARS! I don’t like the poem about the pig because it brings us back down to earth and throwing us into the reality that we start off ok, then get old and ugly and then die and that’s all there is to it, no more stars and fairytales, just the hard fact about death.

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