‘Her Husband’ by Ted Hughes – Criticism Essay
In the poem ‘Her Husband’, by Ted Hughes we are shown a man who returns home to his wife under the influence of alcohol after a hard day at work. We are shown that his wife has to clean up after him and that he does not treat her too well. This poem has five stanzas, all of which are quatrains, maybe to show us the repetitiveness of the husband coming home under the influence of alcohol. The lines are of unequal length and the poet might have used this technique to show us how undependable the husband was. The poem appears to be quite modern as it is irregular in most aspects. In this poem, Ted Hughes might be narrating to us a personal story about how he might have arrived home under the influence of alcohol and mistreated his wife and did not appreciate everything she did for him. The poet uses many adjectives throughout the poems which helps us gain more vivid images and to understand what he is trying to explain to us better. He also uses quite a number of verbs which help us imagine the characters as they move around their house and go about their business. The words used are quite formal and this formality might have been used to show the coldness of the husband and wife’s relationship. In: ‘Line 10’ we are given a description of the food the wife has cooked her husband which has gotten burnt probably due to him returning home late from work. We are shown an image of her husband singing a song while walking around the house, ‘Line 13-14’. We also see the wife reacting to her husband’s current state, ‘Line 16’. In ‘Line 3’, an ellipse is used through the omittance of the word ‘the’ twice. The personification, ‘Line 4’ shows us how hard it is to earn a living and how hard it is to earn money. We are shown that the husband’s voice when singing is very harsh and deep in the metaphor, ‘Line 15’. We are reminded in this stanza that at the end of their lives, when this wife and husband die, they are going to be...
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