2 Poem Poems Title-Woodchucks Author-Maxine Kumin Paraphrase-The poem is about the authors attempts to exterminate the woodchucks that are destroying her garden.
3 Time Period and Style Time Period- Post Modernism (1950-Present) Style of Poem- Modernism
4 Theme and PurposeTheme- The theme of the poem is that there is a killer in all of us and we can’t control it.Purpose- The purpose of the poem is to illustrate how a person who is a pacifist gets consumed by her inner killer, conveying that we all have an evil side.
5 AP Prompt EssayThesis- In the poem Woodchucks by Maxine Kumin, Kumin reinforces the meaning that there is a killer inside every individual. The tone of the poem is aggravated yet determined as Kumin is infuriated with the woodchucks destroying her garden and is determined to protect her garden.Topic Sentence 1- In the poem Woodchucks, Kumin reinforces her meaning that there is a killer inside everyone by showing anyone can become a killer.Topic Sentence 2- Maxine Kumins helps reinforce her statement that there is a killer inside every human being is reinforced by portraying woodchucks are inferior to humans.
6 Woodchucks By Maxine Kumin The food from our mouths, I said, righteously thrilling to the feel of the .22, the bullets' neat noses. I, a lapsed pacifist fallen from grace puffed with Darwinian pieties for killing, now drew a bead on the little woodchuck's face. He died down in the everbearing roses. Ten minutes later I dropped the mother. She flipflopped in the air and fell, her needle teeth still hooked in a leaf of early Swiss chard. Another baby next. O one-two-three the murderer inside me rose up hard, the hawkeye killer came on stage forthwith.Gassing the woodchucks didn't turn out right. The knockout bomb from the Feed and Grain Exchange was featured as merciful, quick at the bone and the case we had against them was airtight, both exits shoehorned shut with puddingstone, but they had a sub-sub-basement out of range. Next morning they turned up again, no worse for the cyanide than we for our cigarettes and state-store Scotch, all of us up to scratch. They brought down the marigolds as a matter of course and then took over the vegetable patch nipping the broccoli shoots, beheading the carrots.There's one chuck left. Old wily fellow, he keeps me cocked and ready day after day after day. All night I hunt his humped-up form. I dream I sight along the barrel in my sleep. If only they'd all consented to die unseen gassed underground the quiet Nazi way.
7 Secondary SourceNazis and Woodchucks Nazi racial ideology has baffled the cultured mind since the atrocities were first made known to the world with the end of WWII. Though the inconceivable horror Jews and other nationalities endured under Nazi reign is common knowledge in our culture and is found in almost any modern history textbook, the mindset that made such atrocities acceptable to Nazis under Hitler’s regime remains a mystery to many. Maxine Kumin admirably conveys the thought process behind this oppressive outlook through the seemingly simplistic poem “Woodchucks”. The purpose of the poem is to align the readers with the narrator’s apparently reasonable yet somewhat sociopathic view of the woodchucks as an inferior life form while building an allegory to the Nazi’s justification for mass extermination that will shock the audience when made explicit by the poem’s end.
8 Secondary SourceThis poem tells the story of a woman who is trying to keep varmints from eating her crops and potentially taking food from her and her family's table. The woman starts by trying to gas the woodchucks but when that doesn't work she develops a blood lust and does on a shooting rampage to end the lives of the woodchucks. These last two lines stir a little controversy with readers. The line references to the mass extermination of the Holocaust and some people find it a tasteless and inappropriate way to end the poem. I agree that yes, it brings up startling images, and yes it is a pretty harsh way to state the thought, however it gets the point across vividly. This woman wanted these woodchucks dead. She would have much rather have not seen them die, but they refused to succumb to the gas so she took matters into her own hands. The reference to the Holocaust just emphasizes the fact that this woman was pushed way past her breaking point with these woodchucks. She was no longer thinking rationally and could only wish death upon these creatures. I believe that during the Holocaust many Nazis were the same way, not thinking rationally. I digress.
9 MLA Work Cited Page"Poetry Blog Log." : "Woodchucks" by Maxine Kumin. Web. 22 Jan <http://thomas-marion.blogspot.com/2011/10/woodchucks-by-maxine-kumin.html>."Woodchucks by Maxine Kumin Analysis" StudyMode.com <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Woodchucks-By-Maxine-Kumin-Analysis html>.
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