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I saw a snake and ran away...
Some snakes are dangerous, they say;
But mother says that kind is good,
And eats up insects for his food.
So when he wiggles in the grass
I’ll stand aside and watch him pass,
And tell myself, “There’s no mistake,
It’s just a harmless garden snake!”
MURIEL L. SONNE
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Muriel L. Sonne born on October 31, 1913, was a well-known writer as well as a poet. His works of literature are well-known all across the globe.
Snakes are one of the least popular creatures on the planet. People often see snakes as creatures that should be feared and hated, along with creepy- crawlies like leeches and spiders, etc. Most people believe that snakes are dangerous because they are venomous and have the ability to do damage to anyone who comes in contact with them. In contrast to this viewpoint, the poet asserts, on the basis of an experience that took place during his childhood, that garden snakes are not dangerous and should not be scared.
"Garden Snake" is a poem written by Muriel L. Sonne, the speaker recalls an experience from his childhood throughout the course of the narrative. The sight of a snake in the garden causes fear in him. Due to fear, he flees away from the garden thinking it is too dangerous to stay there. The poem discusses the ways in which a person's preconceived thoughts can mislead them.
The speaker's mother tells him why garden snakes are not to be afraid of and is safe to approach. She also tells him that there are species of snakes that are not only harmful but also beneficial. It consumes the parasitic insects that are found throughout the area and help to prevent disease transmission. After realising his mistake, the narrator lost his fear of snakes and was able to watch them wiggle in the grass while standing at a safe distance, without being bothered by the snake.
The narrator constantly reminds himself that the garden snake is merely a "harmless garden snake" every time he sees it and moves out of the way for the snake to pass. He has come to an understanding that no living thing can cause damage unless it is provoked or assaulted.
The importance of getting along and living in harmony with all of God's creatures is emphasised in the poem. The boy seemed to be reaffirming what he had heard from his mother. His mother's advice gave him enough confidence to observe the snake's movement. When it comes looking for the insects it wiggles through the grass. He convinces himself that the snake will not hurt him since it is only another living creature. He rather moves out of the way and lets the snake pass.
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"Garden Snake" is a poem on how individuals build their beliefs and ideologies depending on what the majority of society believes. Many stereotypes are developed in society based on these half-formed beliefs. Children are less exposed to the good and bad in the world when they are born. They are prone to be influenced in any way society desires.
The speaker who is referred to throughout the poem reflects on how he has fallen prey to the generalisations that have been created about snakes by society. It is a common misconception among the majority that all snakes in general are harmful. This is due to the fact that some individuals do not realise that all living things have a purpose. If these species did not exist or were even removed, the ecosystem would be thrown into a state of significant imbalance.
In addition to this, the poem centers on the idea that animals would not attack until their natural environment is disrupted in some way.
The idea of Muriel L. Sonne's poem "Garden Snake" is to dispel the myth that snakes are always dangerous and deadly creatures. This is the central message of the poem. Some are harmless like the garden snake; they just consume insects around the area and help to prevent disease transmissions.
The poet used to be afraid of snakes thinking they are harmful; nevertheless, his perspective changed when his mother assures him the snake, he spotted is harmless. As a result, the poem conveys the theme of protecting animals and that we should not be terrified of them.
The poem concludes that the co-existence of living beings is important and the life of all other living organisms is equally valuable as of human beings. Snakes have a significant role in the world's ecosystem and play a vital role in maintaining a high degree of biodiversity, which is crucial for all species on Earth, including humans.
Additionally, the poem offers the concept that before forming an opinion about anything new that one has encountered, it is vital to educate oneself about the subject being discussed by gathering enough valid information about it.
Qns 1. What is the poetic device of the poem garden snake?
Ans. The act of attributing human traits to non-living things or animals is known as personification. In the poem, the snake is Personified.
For example, the poet refers to the snake as "he," even though "he" is often reserved for referring to people.
Qns 2. What makes the child comfortable the next time he sees the garden snake?
Ans. The poet used to be afraid of snakes thinking they are harmful; nevertheless, his perspective changed when his mother assured him the snake he spotted was harmless. His mother's words made him realise his mistake and gave him enough confidence to convince himself that all snakes will not hurt him unless provoked or attacked. He understands it is only another living creature who survives on insects. He rather moves out of the way and lets the snake pass every time he sees it.
Qns 3. What lesson does the young child narrator learn from his mother?
Ans. The little narrator, because of his lack of knowledge, held the misconception that all types of snakes are poisonous. On the other hand, he learned from his mother that not all types of snakes pose a threat to humans. Only a few of them do and a vast majority do not. His mother's words assure him of an understanding that the garden snake which he spotted is harmless. This helped him to observe the garden snake wiggle through the grass while standing at a safe distance, without being bothered by the snake whenever he encounters it in the future.
The narrator also learns that before forming an opinion about anything new that one has encountered, it is vital to educate oneself about the subject being discussed by gathering enough valid information about it.
Qns 4. Why did the narrator run away after seeing the garden snake?
Ans. The sight of a snake in the garden causes fear in the narrator. Out of fear, he flees away from the garden thinking it is too dangerous to stay there.
Qns 5. What does a garden snake eat and do?
Ans. A garden snake consumes insects that are found throughout the area and help to prevent disease transmission.
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