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Bull Moose Poem

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Jenna4564
Words 554
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In the poem “The Bull Moose” by Alden Nowlan, the poem expresses man’s separation from nature and Nowlan’s blatant disgust towards modern society. The use of poetic devices, symbolism and imagery illustrates the comparison between past societies and modern society, to prove if man has strayed too far from nature. In Alden Nowlan’s “The Bull Moose”, the bull moose arrives at a “pole-fenced pasture” after “lurching through forests of white spruce and cedar” (Nowlan 2-5). The townspeople all around gathered to come and see the majestic beast. The young children made fun of him while “the young men snickered and tried to pour beer/down his throat, while their girlfriends/took their pictures” (18). However, the Bull Moose just stood there and let them continue with their mundane ways: confusing this wise, old moose with their pets “[the] women put to bed with their sons” (28). They ceased fire and continued to taunt him. However, the Bull Moose: “Straightened and lifted his horns So [even] the wardens backed away as they raised their rifles When he roared, people ran to their cars All the young men Leaned on their automobile horns as he toppled” (Nowlan, 30-34).
This poem can help us decipher our actions and correct our biased views towards civilization and make people reconsider nature and wild life. By separating ourselves from nature, we may be losing the qualities that make us human to begin with. Nowlan contrasts humanity to nature through the use of literary devices, mainly comparisons and imagery. His method of deliverance emphasizes the ultimate suffering, death, which the Bull Moose experiences as a result of the human’s ignorance. Nowlan creates a vivid image for the reader with descriptive language like ‘lurching’ and ‘roared’ and the use of alliterations such as "giggling girl” (21). Continually, contrast is used to show the difference between nature and civilization is succeeded when the townspeople are shown taunting the moose. In addition to contrasting imagery, Nowlan uses symbolism to convey the main theme. The symbols present in the poem are: the Bull Moose, the fenced pasture, and the townspeople. The moose presents an image of strength and wisdom to the reader; while, the fenced pasture and the townspeople are representatives of modern life. They demonstrate our keys faults as a society of: ignorance and insensitivity, towards the unknown. Concluding, the moose’s “[crown] of thistles on his head” (24) is a greater symbol which reminds us of the suffering of Jesus Christ to make us realize and attempt to correct our growing lists of faults. By writing in such a dark tone Nowlan succeeded in creating a self reflecting mood and made the reader question their everyday actions and how they view nature. The weakest aspect of the poem was the lack of a specific rhyming scheme. If Nowlan wrote in a flowing rhythm, the poem would have been more enjoyable to read. The strongest element in the poem was Nowlan’s use of imagery. The image of a strong Bull Moose and an ignorant and disrespectful crowd of people are viewed clearly by Alden Nowlan’s descriptive language. In conclusion, Alden Nowlan’s poem “The Bull Moose” demonstrates the self righteous superiority we feel towards nature. Nowlan conveys his feelings of disgust and disbelief with the use of poetic devices, symbolism and imagery.…...

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