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Compare The Ways In Which, 'death Of A Naturalist' By Seamus Heaney And 'bullfrog' By Ted Hughes Represent Frogs

665 words - 3 pages

Compare the ways in which, 'Death of a Naturalist' by Seamus Heaney and 'Bullfrog' by Ted Hughes represent frogs.

In Death of a Naturalist, the poem starts with a young boy talking about his days at school collecting frog spawn. It is all very cheerful, exciting and child like. Phrases like "best of all", "daddy frog", and "mammy frog" give an understanding of what kind of age he is, probably around 8-10. The latter half of the poem snaps us, as the reader, back in to the future. Here the boy is now older, surrounded by frogs he suddenly feels frightened of them. It's no longer a little family of frogs he imagined when he was younger, but now "angry frogs" who were "invading". He now sees them as a threat, and think they're seeking "vengeance" at this point he get scared and runs away. The way his attitude changes as he grows up, from enthusiastic curiosity to horror and disgust, could be ...view middle of the document...

Sometimes a possession like a favourite toy, or in this case it's his interest in nature, his imagination, and innocence.
In Bullfrog, we see the speaker actually talking to the frog. He is telling the frog of his opinion of them. It seems that he had an image of them as being magnificent creatures, but he now realises they are quite hideous- "not utterly fantastical I expected (as in some antique tale depicted)" Further into the poem the words "gout" and "wounded god" are used to describe the frog, these represent illness, which is backed up again with the line "sucking black swamp up, belching out black cloud" -this shows the frog regurgitating. These both give horrible views of the frog, making the reader think the frog was making the speaker feel a little sick and disgusted. At the very end of the poem the speaker says about his surprise of how small the frog is, probably due to all the loud noises he makes. The final line of the poem is again a negative view of the frogs appearance, "little old woman hands" - gives an image of small, fragile, wrinkled hands. The speaker does not seem afraid of the frog, but more disappointed by it. He was expecting something grand and majestic, but instead the frog was just a small withered creature, who had some disgusting habits when you watched closely enough.
At a first read through both poems appear very similar. There are a lot of negative words used to describe the frogs, and they have both been written in ways which definitely get a reaction from the reader, helping get across the emotions of the speaker. Although they both tell different stories they both use techniques like onomatopoeia and alliteration throughout, and both poems are written in blank verse. This means they have no rhyming scheme and enables the reader to view them more as stories. Whilst they have strong similarities, the end results of both poems are completely different. Heaney shows that the boy from the start of the poem has developed a fear of frogs. Hughes, on the other hand, is disappointed, telling the frog personally that he hasn't lived up to the expectation he had of him.

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