On top of this, Hughes sets up the idea of the fish being a predator by describing their Jaws as “hooked clamp and fangs. ” The poet also explains that a pike’s life is “subdued to its instrument,” that contribute as well to the idea of the pike being a vicious animal. Eventually the author explains that the pike is “watching upwards” which emphasizes the eerie tone of the poem because the reader gets a feeling as if the pike is looking up stealthy to the author.
Overall, the feeling of admiration is evident in the first part of the poem as well as the feeling of fear nevertheless, it isn’t as noticeable as in the second half of the poem. Hughes informs about how he formerly kept pikes when he was younger in the second part of the poem. He specifies that the fishes were “kept behind glass,” and mentions about the fishes that were “fed fry to them. ” The poet later says, “Suddenly there were two. Finally one, ” and we can say that the pikes probably ate each other and this would classify them as cannibalistic fish.
In addition, when Hughes describes the pike “with a sag belly and the grin it was born with,” it makes it clearer to the reader that the fish is a mischievous cannibal. Hughes shares a story about how he saw a pike being “Jammed past its gills down the other’s gullet,” this proves that the fish is an unstoppable predator. When the author states that the pike “spare nobody, ” it contributes to the themes of survival of the fittest and nature’s brutality. The eerie tone is shown in the second half of the poem but on the other hand it is ore present in the last section of the poem.
The poet tells a story about when he once went fishing for pike during his youth in the last section of the poem and only at this part of the poem the author introduces first person pronouns. He describes the lake by using the simile “as deep as England,” which gives the impression if it being relatively large and profound. The poet calls the lake “dark,” explains that there is “darkness beneath,” which creates a eerie mood in the poem. Furthermore, Hughes mentions that the lake “held pike to immense to stir,” hence forming an impression of the fish being monstrous animal.
The tone used in the 10th stanza gives the idea of the author being terrified of the fish due to the use of imagery “hair frozen on his head. ” Besides this, when the author says “for what might move, for what eye might move,” it builds up a terrifying atmosphere which adds to the eerie tone. In the last line “Rose slowly towards me watching,” it makes us feel as if the author is the pike’s prey. Hughes is successful at portraying his intense feelings of admiration and fear towards the fish.