What are the important quotations in "The Rain Horse" by Ted Hughes and what is their significance?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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"The Rain Horse" by Ted Hughes is replete with nuances of myth and folklore. The suggestions develops the conflicts that the man encounters with the elements of Nature that seem in opposition to him.  As the narrative opens the man stands on "a rabbit-riddled hedgebank." Then, the man realizes that he has gone too far:

What had set out as a walk along pleasantly-remembered tarmac lanes had turned dreamily by gate and path and hedge-gap into a cross-ploughland trek, his shoes ruined, the dark mud of the lower fields inching up the trouser legs of his grey suit where they rubbed together.

The ominousness of Nature is apparent here as the "dark mud" makes its way up the man's trousers after the pleasant lane is transformed. Perhaps, the young man has gone outside the boundaries of reality and entered into an inner world. Then, the rain impedes the man's progress

... but at a sudden fierce thickening of the rain he took one [a tree] at random and crouched down under the leaning trunk” 

Hughes felt that people ignored the other worlds and the healing powers of nature because of the dominance of rationalism. As a result, they repress their instinctual feelings that can reach out to Nature. Instead in Hughes's story, Nature is aggressively against the man because of his lack of appreciation for it and communion with it:

The horse was almost on top of him, its head stretching forward, ears flattened and lips lifted back from the long yellow teeth. He got one snapshot glimpse of the red-veined eyeball as he flung himself backwards around the tree. 

the young man feels threatened by this surrealistic horse that seems to want to harm him. After it disappears, the young man is exhausted from his imagination and the inherent struggles, and he feels as though "something were cracking in his head." 

The ordeal with the horse had already sunk from reality. It hung ....an obscure confusion of fright and shake, as after a narrowly escaped street accident. There was a solid pain in his chest, like a spike of bone stabbing, that made him wonder if he had strained his heart on that last stupid burdened run. 

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