This is basically saying that woman are oblivious of the danger that men can create and can put themselves into very dangerous situations, then don’t know how to get out of them. “Picked” is being contrasted with the “trampling” and “clanking” in verse one. This gives us a soft image of woman and a hard image of men. Lochhead continues her contrast with: “The faint and rather festive tinkling” “Faint” is trying to tell us that the noise sounds muffled, and far away adding a sense of security for the hens.
Even although the noise has actually been muffled by the outside it is much closer than the hens think, so the danger is closer. “Tinkling” is a contrasted with “clanking” in verse one. It is faint and muffled to the hens. It creates a positive image of Christmas, and festival music. This is ironic because the situation is the complete opposite. The clanking of the chains is nothing like the sound of the festive tinkling and music. Lochhead later indicates the strength of the bull by using the phrase, “Straining at his chains”, to indicate that the bull is trying really hard to escape and using all of his strength.
Later in this verse, Lochhhead returns to the voice of the mature persona in order to discuss the theme of gender stereotyping: “I had always half-known he existed” Lochhead is talking about women in domestic abuse relationships. It is suggested that she has always known the man could hurt her, but has never done anything to stop him. This makes the reader think Lochhead is passing judgement on women as well those who refuse to acknowledge the potential danger men possess. Lochhead uses an effective symbol to indicate how threatening the bull or these men are:
“this antidote and Anti-Christ his anarchy threatening the eggs”, This symbolises the threat of men to woman and children. It emphasises the contrast between men and woman in terms of nature and emotion, signifying that men pick on smaller defenceless beings. It suggests to the reader that woman feel men are capable of evil and have a lack of control. However, in verse three, the poet returns to the young girl’s voice and she describes her escape from the black bull and the farm. Lochhead uses syntax and caesura to show the girl’s initial fear and reaction to the bull, “I ran”.
Starting the verse with this creates a dramatic effect. It shows her fear as she runs from the bull. She also uses personification and onomatopoeia in this line: “my pigtails thumping on my back in fear” Lochhead indicated the girl’s heart is thumping because she is so scared and anxious. The alliteration on the letter “B” is again used in verse three, but this time it makes the link between the bull and the new threat to the young girl’s safety, “big boys”. This shows a link between the black bull in the first verse and the big boys in the third verse as they both have alliteration in the letter “B”.
The boys in this verse are destroying small, defenceless elements of nature around them. “who pulled the wings from butterflies and blew up frogs with straws”. This indicates the boys indulge in reckless cruelty of nature, comparative of taking away women’s freedom and identity. These actions mirror the destructive nature and aggressiveness of the bull. “Revelation” is thought provoking in that it challenges the reader to consider the relationship between the sexes and the impact that the male of our species can have over females.
Lochhead does not allow her readers to be indifferent to her message, forcing them to consider her views. Agreement with her sentiments may not be total but readers will undoubtedly find themselves having to consider their own opinions. Andrew Pollock 4Q2 Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Other Poets section.