Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

Analyzing Themes And Language Of A Derek Walcott Poem English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 785 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

Reference this

Derek Walcott was born in a city of Caribbean; St Lucia. Most of Derek’s poems have the theme of different race, rulers and civilization. His style of writing is reflected in this poem because it revolves around the corrupted or decayed society. The title of the poem “Ruins of a Great House” suggest something is destroyed or decayed and he might be referring to the remains of the plantation house. Also, the great house suggests that the house may have belonged to royals or rich people and it can also be seen as a metaphor for death. The main themes in the poem are corruption, transience, classical civilisation and social classes.

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

The word “Limes” is an allusion to British, they ate limes to stop them getting scurvee on ships. It also reminds Derek of the leprosy of empire, with its tone of disgust and suggests his deep or visceral anger against imperialism. Also, the tone expresses the poet’s feelings and attitudes. The word leprosy also refers to how they slaves were treated in an appalling way. Derek also writes about the past and how it all was destroyed “Farwell, ye happy groves!” this sounds like lament and alludes to loss of glorious happiness. The theme of transience is mentioned again “Deciduous beauty prospered and is gone” this suggests that it had its time but it didn’t last and the word Deciduous refers to tress that lost their leaves. The reference to a disease is mentioned again “breaks in a rash of trees” co-notates disease or moral sickness and illness. There is also an allusion to Milton’s paradise Lost “Fallen from evil days, from evil times” which suggests that they were the part of the disaster and the destroyed society.

Derek uses imagery, so we as readers get a clear view of how the society may have been like from his perspective “Grown in the silt that clogs the river’s skirt” this is an image of decay and loss of energy or validity; the word clogs means its lost its pieces or gone to pieces. Derek also mentions the society and the social classes “imperious rakes” refers to an empire that owns the slaves and are privileged, wealthy people. Throughout the poem there’s a contrast between now and then “is gone”, “girls gone” he’s comparing how the corrupted and decayed society has rotten away. There’s also use of metaphor by Derek “I climbed a wall with the grill ironwork of exiled craftsmen, protecting that great house from guilt” You can imagine him actually climbing up the wall which may suggest that he was part of the exiled craftsmen and he refers to suffering; the way they were treated. Also he mentions about morality “but not from the worm’s rent” suggest worms eating away your body but it’s ambiguous. There many references to different persons for example “Milton’s paradise”, “Kipling”, “Hawkins, Walter Raleigh, Drake” from my point of view I think using names makes it more realistic and believable. The line “of ignorance” shows taking advantage of people who don’t know anything. The names “Hawkins, Walter Raleigh, Drake” are Elizabethan explorers, they were corrupted to get the British Empire going.

He repeatedly mentions about slaves, the way they were treated or killed “Ancestral murderers and poets, more perplexed” suggests Spanish or African people were murdered. There’s again a contrast between now and then “The world’s green age then was a rotting lime” shows how the world was then; corrupted and decayed. There’s again a reference to death “the charnel galleon’s text” it’s where you put a dead body (Charnel house) and the word “galleon’s” co-notates a hero. Towards the end of the poem Derek show’s his feelings and attitudes about the whole corrupted society “ember of the mind” images of embers refer to his anger. He mentions how he slaves suffered “rotting in this manorial lake” an allusion to the feudal system; words like these “Ablaze, rage, coal” all refer to his attitudes. Even at the end the comparison is still mentioned “That Albion too, was once” Albion is an ancient name for Britain and England itself was colonized by the Romans. The poem ends on a very affirmative point “All in compassion ends” it suggest that in the end compassion is the dominating feeling and it didn’t end how the heart wanted it to or how it was planned.


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: