Skunk Hour Essay, Research Paper
Frustration s Armored Aroma
Skunk Hour by Robert Lowell and The Armadillo by Elizabeth Bishop are two closely related verse forms. Both portion the subject of an carnal carrying with it natural defences, and the image of an stray witness. However, there is one of import contrast between these verse forms: The Armadillo portrays a animal who can non grok the events destructing the life about it, whereas the talker in Skunk Hour understands, perchance excessively good, the events impacting its life.
By utilizing the rotter as a descriptive component for his character, Robert Lowell increases the distance between the character and the brief glance of society portrayed in the verse form. Skunks, by and large, are avoided by everyone because of their repute for spraying unwelcome visitants with a noxious vapour. Here, the ground for Robert Lowell s pick in animate beings becomes obvious. Using such an stray animate being to parallel the ideas of the talker, Lowell well strengthens the distance between the talker of the verse form and the love-cars ( Lowell 11 ) being watched. Even if the residents of those autos knew they were being observed, opportunities are they would non tie in themselves with the talker.
In add-on, Robert Lowell portrays his character as something kindred to a stalker, illustrated in the undermentioned extract.
One dark dark,
my Tudor Ford climbed the hill s skull ;
I watched for love-cars.
( Lowell 25-27 )
Why would anyone be out entirely, seeking for lovers who do non want invasion? The
talker replies this inquiry in the 2nd half of the stanza.
Lights turned down,
they lay together, hull to hull,
where the cemetery shelves on the town
My head s non right.
( Lowell 27-30 )
Here, the talker admits his actions are incorrect. Subsequently in this paper, the fact that the talker in Skunk Hour is lonely will go an of import contrast to the character in The Armadillo.
At the terminal of the verse form, Lowell contrasts every bit good as likens the character to the nocturnal rotter.
Cipher s here
merely rotters, that hunt
in the moonshine for a bite to eat
( Lowell 36-38 )
Like the rotters of the verse form, the talker is a animal of the dark. Although he does non seek for nutrient as the rotters do, the talker may really good be seeking for a bite of life.
In The Armadillo by Elizabeth Bishop, the talker is one time once more a witness of kinds, watching the frail, illegal fire balloons appear ( Bishop 33 ) . Again, like the talker in Skunk Hour, this charac
ter is lonely. In the 5th stanza, the hot air balloons are melting into distance and the darkness of dark. However, the witness feels forsaken by their going.
Withdrawing, dwindling, solemnly
and steadily abandoning us,
or, in the downdraft from a extremum,
all of a sudden turning unsafe.
( Bishop 17-20 )
The verse form continues with a description of a clang affecting one of the hot air balloons. However, the talker notes the incident by saying, Last dark another large one fell Bishop 34 ) . At this point, the inquiry should be asked: is the talker, in his solitariness, basking the flight of the hot air balloons or their failure and the subsequent fire they create? If it is the latter than, like the talker in Skunk Hour, this character is somewhat maladjusted.
In the last two lines of stanza nine, the talker of The Armadillo remarks on a babe coney.
So soft! — a smattering of intangible ash
with fixed, enkindled eyes.
( Bishop 35-36 )
Here, the attitude of the talker becomes clear. Not merely is at that place the possibility for enjoyment in watching the clang of the balloons and the subsequent effects its fire had on the animals about it, but that the talker sees living things as momentary.
At this point, the talker of The Armadillo becomes a contrast to the character in Skunk Hour. Alternatively of simply being a nighttime Peeping Tom of unsuspicious people making-out in their autos, the talker in The Armadillo becomes something great, deriving the ability to acknowledge the loss of life about it. However, at the same clip, the character becomes undistinguished as will be seen in the undermentioned extract.
Too reasonably, surreal apery!
O falling fire and piercing call
and terror, and a weak mail-clad fist
clenched ignorant against the sky!
( Bishop 37-40 )
Although the animal has the ability to see living things as ordinary, there is still a unequivocal deficiency of apprehension. The last line of the verse form carries with it feelings of defeat, choler and deficiency of comprehension.
Finally, the pick of an armadillo to depict the talker becomes apparent. As in Skunk Hour by Robert Lowell, the armadillo is a witness. However, unlike the rotter, the armadillo is armored. While nature is affected and destroyed by the fire balloons falling from the sky in The Armadillo, the armadillo, itself, remains virtually unaffected. Although the talker grows frustrated at its ain deficiency of understanding refering the devastation of life, it does non experience the solitariness and trouble the talker in Skunk Hour so exhaustively comprehends.