Comparing Poems 'Invictus And Robinson Jeffers' Fire On The Hills

1110 Words 5 Pages
Many revolutions throughout history have been prompted by an individual that was in the pursuit of the liberty. These individuals fought for their freedom. However many people believe the freedom to make choices is an illusion. So was it these revolutionist’s free will which lead these revolutions or was it fate. Two poets debate the nature of fate and how much it really controls us. The poems “Fire On the Hills” and “Invictus” both give an opposing explanation of free will and fate. In “Fire on the Hills” Robinson Jeffers uses paradoxical metaphor and chaotic imagery to depict a forest fire in which he suggests that every part of life is controlled by fate and that “beauty is not always lovely,” (Jeffers 4). Contrarily “Invictus,” a poem by …show more content…
In the beginning of the poem, Jeffers illustrates a majestic yet chaotic image of “the deer… bounding like blown leaves,” escaping the fire as “the smaller lives… were caught,”(Jeffers 1-3) in the fire. Using metaphor, imagery and paradox, the deer are being compared to “leaves” being “blown” through the air. The comparison of “blow[ing] leaves” illustrates the desperation of the deer scrambling to get away from the fire. Used as a paradox, blowing leaves have a positive connotation, suggesting the peace in nature. But Jeffers uses it to describe the escape of animals from a fire, adding a negative tone, relating it to the themes that “beauty is not always lovely,” (Jeffers 4). The beauty of the blowing leaves is not lovely when used to depict the escape from a fire. “Blowing leaves” follow no pattern as they move through the air quickly and chaotically. At the same time, Jeffers is describing “the smaller lives that were caught” (Jeffers 3) in the fire, showing a darker side of the situation. Jeffers suggests that the deer’s fate is to escape the fire but the fate of the smaller lives is to perish “under the smoke in… the roaring wave of brush-fire,” (Jeffers 2). “Beauty is not always lovely, …show more content…
Jeffers uses a paradoxical style in his poem “Fire on the Hills” to decipher free will as an unreal idea where fate truly controls one's destiny. Whereas Henley uses a more euphonic rhythm to his dark imagery and metaphor to express the idea of fate being more of an obstacle in life that can be overcome with willpower than something that determines destinies. Jeffer’s approach to describing fate and free will is more convoluted than Henley’s making it not as easy to understand. Although Henley’s plot begs the question: Is it really free will that leads the narrator to overcome obstacles and temptations in his life, or is it actually not free will, but fate itself which leads him to overcome his obstacles? Is free will an illusion and fate running our lives or does free will determine everyone's choices? Or do free will and fate coincide with each other to determine our outcome, or is the topic of fate so arbitrary that there cannot be an

Related Documents