Hello Fiction press readers :), This is my first time submitting anything for this site so please don't judge too harshly. So here's the story, I've just started senior year of high school on the 15th, and In my English class we've been going over poetry. We've been assigned an essay on the theme of the poem "Thistles" by Ted Hughes. I tend to have trouble with essays and I usually either have trouble starting or i get stuck somewhere in the middle and I wind up filling it with fluff and B.S., anyways I got stuck in the middle this time and I really just want some honest opinions on it, and any advice on how to improve it before I turn it in on Monday. So if you're still with me, I now present "A War without Victory"

Disclaimer - Just because I'm use these on fanfiction, I do not own any copyrights to "Thistles"

However i do copywrite this essay. This essay belongs to Kristin Leeson and no one else...


Essay Question:

How does Hughes' use of figurative language in "Thistles" convey the poem's theme?


A War Without Victory

In the poem "Thistles" by Ted Hughes, you can find many examples of figurative. Hughes' use of figurative language, such as personification, similes,and metaphors, helps reveal his theme of the never ending battle between man and Nature.

Personification seems to be Hughes' most prominent element in the poem. This helps the reader visualize the "war" between the men and the thistles. For example, in the last stanza he writes, "Their sons appear, stiff with weapons fighting back over the same ground." This also helps show the lasting feud in this battle, and how both man and the thistles, who actually represent Nature, continue to "fight".

There are actually only a couple examples of metaphors written in "Thistles", however they do hold a significant amount of importance. The second stanza reads, "Every one a revengeful burst of resurrection." This example shows the consistency, the determination, and the endurance of both parties in the struggle.(*A.N.* this is where i got stuck) It also represents the sense that as much as they try, men cannot defeat Nature, and vise versa. That no matter how hard one pushes, the other will push back just as hard. (*A.N. I feel like the last sentence seems repetitive, opinions?)

Lastly we have similes. In the third stanza Hughes says, "They are like pale hair and the gutturals of dialects." This comparison conveys how course and rough the persistence of the thistles. Ultimately Nature is brutal, and bloodthirsty towards it's "enemies", such as described in the stanza.

So in conclusion, Personification, similes and metaphors play important roles in the enlightenment of the poem's theme. The communication of the theme of the everlasting war between man and Nature, relies upon Hughes' use of figurative language.


Thanks sooo much for reading, this essay was extremely frustrating and difficult to write. PLEASE review I really do need opinions and advise!