Vultures Comparison with What Were They Like Essay

811 Words May 28th, 2011 4 Pages
The poets of both ‘Vultures’ and ‘What were they Like?’ present people in a very interesting way. ‘Vultures’ is a poem not just about vultures and the commandant, but rather explores whether there is hope because there is love everywhere, or whether there is despair, because even though love is there, evil is still always present. However, in WWTL, Levertov is obviously focusing on the effects of the evil of people rather than questioning the nature of evil itself in people. To begin with, Achebe relies heavily on juxtaposition and contrast to represent the co-existence of love and evil in people. The ‘commandant’ is described as having ‘human roast clinging rebelliously to his hairy nostrils’. Not only does this imply that the …show more content…
The short initial answer of ‘It is not remembered’ immediately evokes that this person is avoiding the question, like they do not want to answer it and wants to say what the questioner does not really ask about. This is echoed in the last line: ‘Who can say? It is silent now.’ Levertov uses two short, blunt sentences and seems to answer the initial question of ‘What were they like?’ with another question, which gives an unexpected answer of: it does not matter. The society, culture and people that existed are no longer. They are gone; burned; destroyed; dead, and underlines the futility of asking the questions in the first place and to me, it seems as though Levertov is angry not only at the American government for the destruction, but also at those at home, sitting and complaining about it, yet at the same time, doing nothing. Upon evaluation, Levertov clearly portrays how war renders the waste of humanity and the destruction of civilization and culture. Furthermore, both poets use powerful imagery to underpin their portrayal of the people, Achebe describes how love enters the ‘charnel house’ to ‘tidy it and coil up there’. ‘Coil’ immediately connotes a snake and this perhaps suggests that love is viscous and insidious. However, the description of love in the charnel house could alternatively underpin yet again the feeling of hope – even in the most dreary of places, love can still ‘pick a corner’ there. Effectively, the reader is allowed to understand the complex

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