What is a good thesis statement for "To a Mouse" by Robert Burns?
I would suggest the following:
In Stanza 1, Burns states that he, personally, has no intention of killing the mouse with his plough or with his "pattle," a small shovel:
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!
In Stanza 2, Burns expresses his regret that the mouse has come to look upon humans as his enemy:
I'm truly sorry man's dominio
Has broken nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
In Stanza 3, Burns admits that the mouse lives by thievery, which is normally considered immoral. Yet he excuses the mouse for stealing bits of food because it is the only way he can live:
What the? poor beastie, thou maun [must] live!
In the final paragraph, Burns considers an advantage that the mouse has over man. The mouse only concerns himself with the present, whereas a human regrets the past and fears the future:
I backward cast my e'e
On prospects drear!
An' forwar, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear.
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