To the Snake by Denise Leverto

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In the poem “To the Snake” the author Denise Levertov use several writing techniques to portray money and gambling. She uses syntax, sound imagery, color imagery, figurative language, and symbolism to represent money and gambling. Symbolism is used cleverly throughout the poem to depict a number of things that would take numerous readings to see. Throughout the poem the sentences are structured so that every other sentence is indented, with exception to the first two and the last four. In those sentences not indented the author chose to make every other sentence shorter so that the ends were uneven. This syntax structure gives the reader the feeling of something hard to catch or control. The author did this because money, as it is depicted in the poem, is something this person can’t handle. In other words this person can’t get control of money, instead the want of money is controlling them. This introduces the idea of gambling into the poem. In the poem it says, “…I swore to my companions that certainly you were harmless!”, which is the typical statement of people addicted to gambling. Once again there is the control factor. This person can not control their desire for money and, the means of getting the money, gambling. Another important syntax technique can be seen in line 12. The poem says “…for that joy, which left a long wake of pleasure…” The words “which left” are put on a line alone to draw attention to them. When read without stopping, the words make it seem as if, “…a wake of pleasure…”, was left. However, if the line is read again slowly, the line seems to say, “…that joy…”, left. The author did this to show that even though the joy left, the memory of pleasure was still there, which is why this person continues to gamble. ` Sound imagery is another writing technique put to use by Levertov in the poem. When...
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