In the two poems, Traveling through the Dark and Woodchucks, the speakers have two different tones and resources of language in the relationship between the human and animals. Both poems are about the deaths of animals, one intentional and the other not. In Traveling through the Dark, the speaker did not mean to kill the deer and feels the need to fix what has happened. In Woodchucks the speaker wants to rid their backyard of the garden eating woodchucks. These two pieces of literature are on two opposite ends of the spectrum, pacifism and genocide. In the first poem by William Stafford, a person kills a deer while coming around a curve in the road. This person feels very horrible about the mistake and feels like they need to do something about the deer. When the speaker finds out that the dead deer is pregnant they feel even worse about the accident. The car in this poem is personified which makes the reader come to the conclusion that technology is killing nature or the theme of man versus nature. The language is very sympathetic both for the driver and the deer. The author uses the word “group” on line 16 making more than just the driver, deer and baby bee there but also the car and all of nature. Following this with “I could hear the wilderness listen” on page 16 also personifies the woods. The second poem, Woodchucks by Maxine Kumin, the speaker wants all of the woodchucks eating away their garden to die. The speaker in this poem has no sympathy for destroying nature. You can make a connection from the Nazi concentration camps to the killing of the woodchucks. They try to gas the woodchucks out just like they did during the holocaust to the prisoners in the camps. The tone of this piece has very little sympathy and where it does it goes to the speaker because their garden is being destroyed. The speaker also believes that “the knockout bomb from the Feed and Grain Exchange was featured as merciful” (Kumin line 2).
The connection to the...
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