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D.H. Lawrence

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"Snake" Mexican Mythology
Added by: J-sin
Lawrence spent alot of time in Mexico and this poem reflects on Myths and Stories he must have heard while in Mexico. The snake is the lord of the underworld, and is in fact one of the most celebrated creatures in earlier Mexican Mythology. The snake is a symbol of rebirth, sheds the skin, and swallow their prey whole, powerful animals. The snake is the symbol for water and also for the sky. In some cultures the word for snake means, water, sky and also the number four. The snake is a very important part of pre-american mythology and it is important to know this about Lawrence, what he has learned about the snake in Mexico is the opposite of what his education has said, which is what the conflict in the poem is about. Nothing suggests sex in the poem, but the albatross suggests that Lawrence is linking the snake with God and like the Ancient Mariner will "wear the snake around his neck" and finally he seems to want people to understand this other view of snakes, they are the lords of life, they are fascinating creatures and do deserve their own temples, their own dances, their own gods. His pettiness is his flaw of education and he wants to expiate it. Respect Nature.
Sexual connotation plus religious symbolism
Added by: beibei
If it is possible that the snake symbolizes penis, Lawrence is uttering his homosexual tendency here. On the other hand, the biblical connotation here is obvious. Lawrenc/Adam/human being is hesitating between the snake/Satan/instinct and God/education/civilization.
Added by: Carmen Vasco
If there is a guy who feels like DH in any way, I would love to be in touch with him. I refer to Matthew Curtis, on this page. I do not think DH had a homosexual tendency, and if he did, it was as any of us being male or female and having the other side too, somewhere inside us, making us richer. I mean, the term homosexual tendency (on this page) seems so chauvinistic that it could be corrected and changed to a "femenine side", which is anyway a too strong categorization of DHs finest sensitivity and deep reflection on the world, men, nature ...
Added by: Marina
It is clear that the poem is about the narrator's desire to free himself from sinful behavior. The snake represents Satan as the snake who convinced Adam and Eve to eat from the forbidden tree. When the man stumbles upon the snake underneath the carob tree (the pods of which were eaten by John the Baptist while he was in the wilderness), he thinks that he must kill it. He has always been taught that sin is evil and the bible gives the impression that snakes are part of evil. Therefore, the man ignores his own opinions about the snake and conforms to society's teachings by throwing a stick at it. Immediately following his action, the man realizes that he should not have harm the creature because it is "king in exile." The snake is a creature made by God and it deserves respect. But, since society does not give it what it deserves, the snake is hiding from the people. Therefore, the poem is NOT specifically about sex, but it can be grouped with the whole idea of sin.
Added by: zoya
The poem is presented in a beautiful way. the snake on a symbolic level represents the conflicts in our minds. the persona is debating between what he wants to do and what society would expect of him. though later he decides that he will stand up to society the persona shows tha unstability of the human mind by suddenly throwing a log at the snake.
Homosexual Connotations in Snake
Added by: Will Powell
Lawrence definitely had more than just homosexual tendencies. He once told one of his close friends "I believe the nearest I've come to perfect love was with a coal-miner when I was about sixteen." (www.gbltq.com) It would seem that in the poem, the golden snake represents Lawrence's homosexuality. Society has taught him to repress and destroy homosexuality, and so he feels that to make society happy, he must kill the snake.
Will Powell
Added by: Ang
Obviously if it's on an internet sight it must be true! have you not thought about the reliabilty of the source. It's a fact that our culture today points us towards looking for sexual inclinations in everything we look at. Therefore we spend more time wasted trying to look too deeply into texts than we need to.
Added by: ya motha
ayo this the rider of riders, you know dip set, bird game, eastside, capo status, and all i got to say is pause that son no homo
Even real men have feelings
Added by: Lisa G.
I don't think this poem is about homosexuality at all. I think a key line to this poem is
"And voices in me said, If you were a man
You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off."
Obviously, the speaker has a strong desire to prove himself a man, even when no one else is around. I don't think a homosexual would feel that urge as strongly.

What bugs the man in the poem is that he knows that he doesn't want to hurt the snake but throws something at it anyhow. He does this because it has been drilled into him that real men should not be too sensitive, and his heart can't overcome his training.

I think it would be dangerous to say that the poem is about homosexuality because that would imply that sensitivity in men is somewhat homosexual, and that is actually the opposite of what I feel the poem is trying to say.

Added by: Khalid
"Snake " is a very clever poem by D.H.Lawrence. It illustrates a very powerful use of the literary devices.

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