Animals Class 10 by Walt Whitman | Poem 7 | English | Summary |
Summary of Animals
This poem revolves around the animals which are considered better than humans in all the aspects by the poet. Walt Whitman believes that humans have lost all the values which he possessed once. But, on the other hand, animals have the same values. Therefore, he loves living among animals but not humans.
In the first stanza, the poet wishes if he could live with animals. He finds them just, placid and innocent. He feels like looking at them for they are much better than human beings. According to him, human beings are full of flaws whereas animals are gullible and loyal. They live naturally among others without being selfish and self-centered.
In the second stanza, the poet compares and contrast animals with human beings. According to him, animals never complain to their conditions as humans do. They eat and sleep peacefully without making any complaints as humans do. Besides, he finds animals better than humans for they do not regret their past weeping for their sins. According to him, animals are pure souls which never pray to God for their sins. They just live and let others live, the poet suggests.
In the third stanza, the poet highlights more qualities of the animals. According to him, none of the animal is dissatisfied with his life. Moreover, they don’t have a mad race of owning more and more materialistic things like humans which never ends. They never kneel down to others for the sake of pleasures and benefits. All of them are equal so, there is no race among them according to the poet.
In the last stanza, the poet heaps showers of goodness over animals. According to him, he is deeply attached with all the animals for they possess all the qualities which humans once did. He condemns humans who have lost all virtues and engaged themselves in mad race of collecting things which do not matter. Humans should learn those virtues and many other things from animals, the poet suggests.
Poetic Devices of Animals
- Repetition: I stand and look at them long and long
- Alliteration: They do not make me sick, I wonder where they get these tokens.
Textual Questions Answers of Animals
Question 1. Notice the use of the word ‘turn’ in the first line, “I, think I could turn and live with animals…” What is the poet turning from?
Answer: Poet does not want to be around other people. He thinks they are complicated and false. He would rather live with animals that do not complain and who are self-contained.
Question 2. Mention three things that humans do and animals don’t.
Answer: These are the three comparisons between humans and animals;
- Animals do not complain about their work. Humans whine and sulk because they have to work too much.
- When humans do wrong things, they sometimes cry at night. Animals do not cry and sleep peacefully all the time.
- Humans get sick from talking to each other about what they have to do for their god. But animals don’t have a god and they live without any prayers or fasts.
Question 3. Do humans kneel to other humans who lived thousands of years ago? Discuss this in groups.
Answer:Human beings love and kneel to other human beings who lived thousands of years ago. They worship their heroes, warriors, or saints. Animals don’t do that.
Question 16. What are the ‘tokens’ that the poet says he may have dropped long ago, and which the animals have kept for him? Discuss this in class. (Hint: Whitman belongs to a Romantic tradition that includes Rousseau and Wordsworth, which holds that civilisation has made humans false to their own true nature. What could be the basic aspects of our nature as living beings that humans choose to ignore or deny)?
Answer: The writer thinks that people are not true to themselves anymore. He says that people used to put things on the ground or in their homes to remember something, but now they don’t do that anymore. This is because humans have become more civilized and less natural. The writer talks about how animals are more natural and innocent, which is different from people who are false.
We would love you reading of Dust of Snow, Fire and Ice, A Tiger in the Zoo, How to Tell Wild Animals, The Ball Poem, Amanda, Animals, The Trees, Fog, The Tale of Custard the Dragon For Anne Gregory for better understanding of the poetry and scoring higher in forthcoming examination.
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