What is"the snare" by james stephens about

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tisjay | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

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The poem describes the feelings of the narrator as he hears the cry of an animal in pain. Hearing the sudden cry of pain, he concludes that a rabbit has caught its foot in a snare and is crying out in pain. He is therefore, naturally agitated and upset and calls out to the rabbit that he is searching everywhere in order to rescue it. The intended message of the poem is the cruelty of human beings; and the suffering that is caused by them to dumb animals.

Reading between the lines however, we realize that the narrator has created a sentimental picture in his mind, to which he responds with emotion. For instance, it is difficult to make out from a cry of pain, whether the animal is a cute, furry little rabbit or a rat. Somehow, the latter does not evoke the same feelings as the former. Secondly, the animal in pain may have been caught by another, bigger animal or been injured in some other way. How does the narrator know that the animal has been caught in a snare? Thus, the poem does not convince, because the narrator has sentimentalized the issue.

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