The Rain Horse

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Explore how Hughes gradually builds up a sense of menace in The Rain Horse.

In 'The Rain Horse', Hughes reflects his emotions of disappointment, frustration and anger through imagery phrases of threat. He uses the horse as a symbolic source of his feelings and describes them in figures of speech.

The return of the young man to the farm after twelve years made him a complete a stranger to the land which he didn't accept. The narrator manages to describe how this man is disillusioned, using the metaphor “so he waited, trying to nudge the right feelings alive” - depicting his disappointment towards the land that he had not visited for so long , and this is conveyed in the following quote “This land no longer recognized him , and he looked back at it coldly” The persona seems to have a strong sense of disconnection with the land surrounding him, and he appears with unease and frustration,”felt nothing but the dullness of feeling nothing, boredom and suddenly impatience” . The narrator described well the young man's mixed feelings of discomfort and frustration by using alliteration “so old and stiff and stupid” which lead him to an ultimate anger towards himself “anger against himself for blundering into this mud-trap ”. The phrase “remembered or shouted at as a trespasser – deterred him” gives the idea of how the man did not have a good history with the farmer since he is mentioned as a trespasser. The writer used the horse to strengthen the idea of the land to the young man rejection .
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