Hunting Snake Essay

The chief topic of the verse form is the sudden visual aspect of the serpent and the surprised reactions of the poet and her comrade. The serpent does no injury to the Walkers and they in bend do non harm the serpent.

As an conservationist. Wright sought to continue the natural milieus in Australia. She cared intensely for the Aboriginal people who lived in close familiarity with nature which the colonists did non. The verse form. on the surface. is about the sudden visual aspect of the serpent but it could besides be about the assorted animals that lived in Australia and the animate being friendly manner of life of the Aboriginal people.

Judith Wright Hunting Snake

The initial emotion that overtakes the poet and her comrade is daze or surprise. They are walking along a grassy spot ( non a jungle ) when they see the serpent “reeling by” . Soon this surprise is overtaken by esteem for the flawlessness of its organic structure.

the symmetricalness of the graduated tables on its surface and the individual minded ( “fierce intent” ) chase of its quarry.


The verse form has a tightly controlled construction that does non allow much invention. The beginning of the verse form describes a peaceable scene when nature is full of the laid-back sunlight of fall. so comes the surprise of happening a serpent in their thick. But there is no sudden motion or strong emotion expressed so there is no alteration in the construction either.

The verse form has four quatrains with a traditional rime strategy of abab.

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cdcd. efef in the first three stanzas but the 4th stanza is ghhg. The alteration in the last stanza is like the allowing out of breath ( “We took a deeper breath of twenty-four hours. ” ) after holding unconsciously held it while the serpent was about. Thereby underscoring the alleviation that the perceivers felt. If you extend beyond the surface degree significance. you could research the symbolism here: is Wright disputing the attitude that we have towards the autochthonal Aborigines. by foregrounding the opinion that the perceivers have made ( that the serpent is unsafe ) when in existent fact. it is merely traveling about it?s day-to-day life? Are we excessively speedy to do a opinion on a people group that has different values to us?

You might wish to associate this to A Different History. as the Brits coined the class. “Aboriginal Australians” after they begin colonizing Australia in 1788. Notice how linguistic communication is used to organize stereotypes.


The linguistic communication used is really simple but the imagination is strong doing it a splanchnic verse form. The pick of sibilants ( “we barely thought ; still as we stood” ) mimics the motions of the serpent to foreground the immediate fright that the perceivers feel towards it. Again. are we afraid of what we don?t to the full understand and hence. do unneeded opinions?


The usage of strong imagination marks the verse form. The gap images are of a barmy twenty-four hours in fall when there is a “mellow fruitfulness” everyplace. The composure is broken by the sudden reaching of the serpent. The image of the serpent in individual minded chase of its quarry. lingua fliting as it feels the land. the grass farewell as it moves through are pen images which allow us to “see” the event. The verse form focuses on the event instead than the storyteller leting us to portion in the emotions. Symbolically. is Wright promoting us non to impetuously react to our immediate reactions when faced with something unknown. or something that we don?t to the full understand. so that we reflect upon our preconceived impressions about a person/situation? Thus. is she disputing the stereotypes environing the Aboriginies?

Movement / Rhythm

The rime strategy is a simple abab. cdcd. efef and ghhg. The rigidness of the strategy allows the poet to concentrate on the event instead than on the emotions or the feelings of the poet. The motion of the serpent is copied in the motion of the lines and the sibilants evoke a slipping esthesis.


Alliterative and fricative sounds as in “sun glazed his curves of diamond scale” . “we barely thought ; still as we stood” convey the feeling of a slipping motion of the serpent as it moved fast over the grass. These devices continue to associate to the relationship that humanity has with nature: we should esteem nature. the natural universe and the people who live in it.

Figures of Address

Through an drawn-out metaphor. the poet tells us of the symbiotic relationship between the serpent and adult male. There is no maudlin talk about the quarry or the inhuman treatment of the serpent as a huntsman but simply an recognition of the sense of intent behind the motion of the serpent. Chiefly. Wright depicts this symbiotic relationship so that adult male reflects upon his intervention of a ) the natural universe around him and B ) the autochthonal people group found in a state.

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Hunting Snake Essay
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