LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS
Q1. Describe the manner in which the snake arrived and departed.
Ans : The snake had come from the crack in the wall made of earth, from the darkness, from the scorching inside portion of the earth. The snake did not feel the threat of the poet’s presence, so its movement is very languid, very relaxed and unhurried. It stretched its long and slack body, drank water with great spells of flavour and enjoyment. It licked its lips, it mused and put his head on the edge of the water-trough. Its departure was exactly the opposite—quick, clumsy, abrupt like the speed of lightning.
Q2. You have read the poem ‘Snake’ and you understand the dilemma faced by the poet. Suppose you had been there instead of the poet, how would you have behaved? Write a letter to your friends Prateek, expressing this situation and how did you resolve it.
92, G.P. Road
12 July, 2010
I wish to recount a strange experience that I underwent recently. One day as I had come to fill my pitcher with water from a open water-trough, I saw a snake drinking water there. My first instinct was fright and then I felt like killing him, because that is what we do generally. Nevertheless, I hid behind the door and watched the snake. The snake was very relaxed, very slack and had great style of moving about. After drinking water, the snake went back into the hole. I felt happy that I had not hit him. I am happy I followed the voice of my instincts.
Q3. Write a short note on the literary devices used by the poet. Discuss their effectiveness in the context of the poem.
Ans : D.H. Lawrence has made use of many literary devices liberally. He begins the poem by using some words expressions repeatedly, to reinforce and highlight certain ideas. There is a great use of alliteration in words like ‘slackness’, ‘soft-bellied’ etc. Lot of similes have been used to describe the snake. The snake is compared to ‘cattle’, ‘like a king’, ‘lord’ etc. The snake disappears into the hole with the speed of lightening. Moreover, the snake is symbolic of some strange forces and it represents power and sophistication that impress the poet.
Q4. What ideas and thoughts come to the poet's mind when he finds a poisonous snake drinking water at his water trough?
Ans : After reaching his water trough on a very hot day, the poet finds a snake drinking water from his water trough. He waits for the snake to finish drinking water first since he is very particular regarding protocol. The snake was brown in colour. The poet makes a frank confession that he really liked the snake but educational and social conventions make the poet think that the golden brown snakes were poisonous, so they must be killed. The inner instinct of the poet makes him feel honoured that a snake had come to seek his hospitality from the deep recesses of the earth.
When the snake started to retreat back into the dark hole, the poet disliked it and hurled a log at the snake. The snake vanished into the hole in great haste. The poet was full of guilt. He really hated himself for such a mean act and cursed the voice of education that had always taught him to kill snakes, without any reason.
The poem represents the instability of man's mind but champions the fact that it is our instinctive behaviour that prompts us to do good..