Fox: What do you mean?
Starting with an interpretation of “The Burnt Fox,” and going on to an analysis of the poem, aim to figure out what exactly might be the relation of poem to dream, dream to poem. Refer closely to both, quote, and analyze what you have quoted, in support of your argument.
In the year of 1952, Ted Hughes was a second year student at Cambridge University. For the first two years of his schooling he studied English in hopes to become a poet. However during his time there he had a profound experience.
For quite some time Hughes was working on a paper over the lasting contributions of Samuel Johnson but had only ever been able to wright one sentence. The night before the paper was due for his English teacher he gave up and went to sleep. That night he had a very graphic and disturbing dream about a fox. In his dream he was still sitting at his desk trying to write his paper. He looks over at the door and a fox face peers. The fox stands about five or six feet of the ground on two legs and is as large as a human. However, one of the more disturbing parts of the fox is that it is burnt and “smoldering all over as if it just escaped from a furnace” (Rees 2009; 3). The fox walks over to Hughes and puts its paw, which looks like a human hand at this point, on the blank page. He smears blood on the page and says, “You are killing us”.
Hughes studied English in school so he could become a poet or creative writer. However, his studies never seemed to be geared in such a manner. The burnt fox dream here is a cry for help. Hughes seems to be splitting his own self by not being able to do what it is he loves. The strict writing style that’s expected of him is not in his true nature. The fox, his inner self, in the dream is dying because Hughes’ has to stifle or suppress his real identity. The stereotypical archetype of the fox is wit. Wit and knowledge are closely related. Here the fox is clearly burring, representing the destruction of...
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