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Word Count: 495
Snake is one of Lawrences most famous poems Although the poem seems to be about an encounter with a snake the true theme of the poem is the conflict between emotional behavior and learned behavior This conflict is displayed through setting and symbolismThe poem begins with a very narrative voice and is a pleasure to read for that reason Lawrence is exuberated in expressing his reverence for nature In the first three stanzas of the poem the setting is established and the movement of the snake is described The poem took place in a garden near his house because the boy was in pajamas and under the shade of a great dark carob-tree The movement of the snake is described by the alliteration of the s sound in the words straight softly slack and silently Symbolism is used throughout the poem The garden in which the poem takes place can be a symbol of the Garden of Eden and the snake a symbol of the devil A snake is a symbol of evil but a snake is also a symbol of enlightenment and wisdom according to ancient civilizations The snake however is the ultimate symbol of tension The tension in the young boy is caused because he has to make a decision When he encounters the snake he is posed with the question to kill the snake or to let it leave unharmed to act upon his human education or his instinct While the snake is drinking at the trough the boys emotions are in conflict Even though the boy was scared he was even more honored that the snake should seek his hospitality Once the snake started to leave the boys time was running out He had to make a decision Because of his accursed human education he decided to act in an evil way and throw a log at the snake Does this suggest that the snake is not evil but the soul
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