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Analysis Of Ted Hughes' "Last Night" & "That Girl"

904 words - 4 pages

"The two jostled her, / Both trying to mount her simultaneously/ As she ran between them and under them/ Hurrying to nibble further." Ted Hughes describes the power of physical desire in both animals and human beings in "Last Night" and "That Girl". "Last Night" discusses the natural and inescapable need to mate in animals, while "That Girl" pokes fun at the consequences of satisfying these urges by means of casual sex. The structure of Hughes' "Last Night" reads more like prose, but Hughes emphasizes the continuation of birth and death by the repetition the image of a lamb. The satirical tone of "That Girl" is enhanced by the contrast between the beautiful girl who sleeps around, and the ...view middle of the document...

The males buck and jolt forwards, interlocking horns, and bound towards one another with all intentions of winning over the female. When the grayface has the upper hand in the quarrel, the female simply follows him and without a care, begins nibbling away at the fresh grass. When the "two jostled her," she runs away "hurrying to nibble further," and is not concerned with who ends up defeating whom. Before the blackface can fully recover from previous hits, however, the grayface "mounts her" all while she is still nibbling away feverishly at the ground. The blackface regains consciousness and tries to attack, in order to "get her for himself" and fulfill his sexual urge. All the while the grayface completes his task, and the female obliviously continues her nibbling. Irony prevails when the speaker notes that when the rams "turned to stare" at him, they are like "two or three lambs" out of place in the dead cold. The fact that the animals are mature enough to procreate goes against the observation of how inapt they appear when the two males are fighting, and the only female is lollygagging chewing on the grass.In Hughes' other poem "That Girl", there is less of an observation by the speaker than there is in "Last Night". Instead, the title "That Girl" is implied to be a part of the first line, and suggests a nameless girl, much like the female in Hughes' other work. The word "girl" also insinuates the juvenile manner in which the...

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