Compares the poisoned food to a bomb, seen as merciful in the human’s eyes “Quick at the bone” quick to kill “Sub-sub-basement” woodchucks escaped, not so easy to kill, scared but cunning as well.
Poison had little effect on woodchucks, compared to the human’s alcohol and cigarettes. Also alludes to death, and cancer. “Beheading the carrots” as if the carrots were living, or precious to humans, slain by the woodchucks. Aka personification.
Shift occurs between the stanza and previous- previous stanzas show failed execution attempt, third shows determination and first death. “Lapsed pacifist” “Darwinian pieties” speaker against violence, yet takes arms to avenge vegetables, justifies with Darwinian principle survival the fittest. No longer pacifist, violent and murderous as apposed to merciful like in the beginning.
“Needle teeth” negative connotation, speaker now insulting woodchucks. “Murderer..rose up hard” implies that if a pacifist can have one everyone does. Personifies her inner evil as well.
Begins by changing name from woodchucks to just chuck, less respect or care for full name Metaphorically compares herself to a cocked gun while on the hunt for him, so focused: dreams about killing him, from a former pacifist Would have been easier if they’d consented to be gassed, yet to give consent means knowledge on what's happening and the outcome impossible for them to give
Theme: Little is required to turn any person from pacifist to killer. ”Landen” We all have evil within us. “Zac” Tone: Dedicated, infuriated, a tad insane
The author reinforces the idea that everyone has a killer inside the through contrasting a pacifistic side to an evil and sinister like being. In the first half of the poem, the speaker built up the case for transforming from pacifist to killer. The second half of the poem portrayed the killer instincts inside everyone.
Initially the poem describes the failed effort of the human’s to poison the woodchuck’s food. The next morning when they return and eat all the vegetables the pacifistic human turned into a bloodthirsty killer and hunts down all the remaining woodchucks one by one, until only old wily is left.