Vultures Chinua Achebe Poem

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Achebe and Atwood appear to be writing about vultures, but are actually commenting on something different. Both poets compare vultures to humanity but Atwood’s poem describes vultures in a good ways whereas Achebe describes vultures in a bad way. In Achebe’s poem the first section talks about vultures. On the whole it portrays them to be evil and dark but then suggests that humans are no better than vultures. Achebe uses a lot of dark negative words to portray vultures in the first section of the poem, he uses dark words that are, “greyness”, “drizzle” and “despondent” to set the scene, this shows that the vultures live in a dark habitat.

This first section of the poem uses good imagery to set the scene. The next two lines suggest a stereotypical part of a vultures home, on a dead tree. “Dead” suggests that the vultures have killed the tree as well as other animals. Achebe then describes the vultures themselves and uses mostly negative words, such as “bashed in head”, “bone”, “corpse” and “trench.

” Bone and corpse suggests death which represents the vultures to be bad and related with death. Bashed in head shows that vultures are ugly which makes a negative atmosphere and image. But Achebe also uses some positive words like “affectionately”, “mate” and “perching.

Vultures Poem Summary

” Affectionately suggests that vultures have a soft side to them and can treat others in a decent way. Mate shows that vultures are bit like humans, they have friends and lovers.

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Also perching suggests that vultures like to chill out and relax exactly what humans like doing. Margaret Atwoods poem also portrays vultures in a bad way, she compares them to other animals and then to humans in the last two stanza’s. When she compares the vultures to humans it create a negative atmosphere in the poem resulting in the reader to think about how they act and how they treat others and even animals.

In the second stanza Atwood compares vultures to hyenas and uses fierce and frightful words to portray the vultures to hyenas, she uses “around the kill” which shows that vultures want and like death. She also uses simple words like “black” which does not sound bad but helps to create a negative image and atmosphere of the vulture. Hyena is the main word in this stanza and suggests that vultures hunt in groups and laugh at there kill, this shows the vultures are just sick. Atwood then goes on to compare vultures to beetles which suggests that they are annoying pests that don’t deserve a place on Earth.

Atwood uses words to show that vultures only care about themselves. Atwood uses words to show that vultures only care about themselves, she uses “gluttonous for a space” which shows that they are in a mind of there own and don’t think of others, she also uses “territory of murder” which shows that there kill is there territory and only there food and will not share it. Atwood does not use any words to portray vultures in a positive way but makes this makes humans look bad which is the message of the poem. Atwood and Achebe both describe vultures in a negative way to show how bad humanity is.

But Atwood uses no positive words where as Achebe uses some positive words, which suggests that he does not want to put down humanity completely and wants to show there still is a small bit of good in humanity where as Atwood is all negative words suggesting she just want to get a strict point across that humanity has no good in it and needs to change. Achebe uses small more harsh serious phrases to portray vultures like “swollen corpse”, where as Atwood uses long less harsh words to describe the vultures like “gluttonous for a space”.

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Vultures Chinua Achebe Poem. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

Vultures Chinua Achebe Poem
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