Vultures by chinua Achebe

Topics: Death, Chinua Achebe, Anne Frank / Pages: 5 (1001 words) / Published: Oct 1st, 2013
Vultures - Chinua Achebe
In the greyness and drizzle of one despondent dawn unstirred by harbingers of sunbreak a vulture perching high on broken bone of a dead tree nestled close to his mate his smooth bashed-in head, a pebble on a stem rooted in a dump of gross feathers, inclined affectionately to hers. Yesterday they picked the eyes of a swollen corpse in a water-logged trench and ate the things in its bowel. Full gorged they chose their roost keeping the hollowed remnant in easy range of cold telescopic eyes ...
Strange
indeed how love in other ways so particular will pick a corner in that charnel-house tidy it and coil up there, perhaps even fall asleep - her face turned to the wall!
... Thus the Commandant at Belsen Camp going home for the day with fumes of human roast clinging rebelliously to his hairy nostrils will stop at the wayside sweet-shop and pick up a chocolate for his tender offspring waiting at home for Daddy’s return ...
Praise bounteous providence if you will that grants even an ogre a tiny glow-worm tenderness encapsulated in icy caverns of a cruel heart or else despair for in every germ of that kindred love is lodged the perpetuity of evil.

Glossary charnel-house (line 26) – a vault where dead bodies or bones are piled up
Belsen Camp (line 30) – Bergen Belsen was one of the mot notorious concentration camps of the Second World War. It became a camp for those who were too weak or sick to work and many people died because of the terrible conditions. Anne Frank was interned there and died of typhus in 1945. The camp was liberated in 1945.
a) Discuss the poet’s portrayal of the vultures, paying close attention to his use of imagery and other poetic devices.
- the poet describes the vultures in a bleak and depressing setting: ‘greyness’ and ‘drizzle’ of one ‘despondent dawn’. His choice of words paint a picture of a miserable environment
- it is in this environment that the vultures perch, and by

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