“Hitcher” and “The Laboratory”
Despite being written almost two centuries apart both ‘The laboratory’ and but Robert Browning and ‘Hitcher’ but Simon Armitage deal with themes of jealousy, resentment and violence as well as many other similarities and differences. ‘Hitcher’ is about a depressed man who is deeply angered and takes his frustration out on an innocent hitch hiker spontaneously. ‘The Laboratory’ is about a woman who, driven by jealousy, wants to poison her husband’s mistress. There are many themes that are seen in both the poems. These include Revenge, Anger, Depression and Death. The two key themes in the both poems; Murder and Jealousy are both portrayed in different ways according to each killer’s motives. In ‘The Laboratory’ the woman has an incentive to kill, due to the fact her husband is having an affair causing it to be revenge whereas the man in ‘Hitcher’ is “wound up” and commits a ‘spur-of-the-moment’ murder.
Both of the poems use the theme Violence throughout the poem although this is shown in Armitage’s ‘Hitcher’ in a much more shocking and sickening manor compared to the calm, thought out murder in ‘The Laboratory’. First person is used by both narrators to give us an insight into each of the murderer’s thoughts and feelings throughout. At first in both poems, the narrators show they lead an unhappy and troubled life which eventually leads them to take another’s life. In Armitage’s ‘Hitcher’; it is clearly stated.
“I’d been tired, under the weather.”
Whereas in Browning’s ‘The Laboratory’ it is hidden and is shown ‘between the lines’
“He is with her, and they know that I know where they are, what they do: they believe my tears flow.” The writer’s poems are written with different speeds, with a quick murder in ‘Hitcher’ helped with the use of enjambment comparing to the slow, gentle pre-meditated murder in ‘The Laboratory’ “Pound at thy powder, - I am not in haste!”
Which eventually quickens towards the end as the...