Our Hunting Fathers: by Auden || Summary and Analysis

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Introduction:

      The poem Our Hunting Fathers was published in May 1934. The poem stresses the role of tradition in moulding the personality of the human creature, as well as of the lower creatures of nature. The poem is written in two stanzas. Each stanza has ten lines. The lines are without any rhyme.

      Our fore fathers narrates or shows the things to make us known to those things - animate or inanimate. His purpose is to make his younger generation familiar to his surroundings and thus keep up his traditional culture.

Auden in his poem Our Hunting Fathers wants to say that our fore fathers are the means for communicating the tradition from generation to generation. In other words this is the way how our hunting fathers use to hold back the traditional culture from generation to generation through language.
Our Hunting Fathers

Summary

      Tradition is communicated through language from one generation to another. This tradition governs the reactions and responses of those who listen to it. The father communicates the language or make his son to look or to know the things that surrounds him. This communication goes on from generation to generation which makes the generation rich with culture. It is Auden's belief that human society can only endure by conscious efforts, the passing of a tradition from the older generation to the younger. This tradition is governed not by instinct but by authority. The prime source of this authority is language.

      The story these fathers told, "Of the sadness of the creatures," is no longer believed. It stands revealed as ideology in the anthropomorphic metaphors it employs: the lion's intolerant look, the quarry's dying glare, Love ranging for the personal glory, liberal appetite and power. The crisis 'our Hunting Fathers' records is a filtering of the old 'We' of a collective story, and the seeking of an alternative 'We' in the dedication. To think no thought but ours'.

      The crisis of Auden's subject in his early poems was the problematic self back into the nexus of language, history that generated it and the social being.

Critical Appreciation

      In this poem the poet is emphasising on the paramount importance of the positions. The word 'Hunting' connotes that customs should not be ignored. The modern man is ignoring the traditions of elderly persons. Hence our civilization is deteriorating, our education is not based upon principals of morality. Moral education is necessary for children which enables them to follow the tradition of their forefathers. This poem is significant as the poet wishes that traditions are to be respected and they should not be violated by the coming generations. The poet says that human society can only endure by conscious effort, the passing on of a tradition from the older generation to the younger, is governed not by instinct or force but by authority.

      Here only lies the true essence of culture. One who deviates this norm, fails to keep up the tradition and should be considered as anonymous. By apparent rituals or customs the tradition can not be held up. It can be held up only by following up the language, the idea, the message of the predecessors.

Conclusion:

      Auden in his poem Our Hunting Fathers wants to say that our fore fathers are the means for communicating the tradition from generation to generation. In other words this is the way how our hunting fathers use to hold back the traditional culture from generation to generation through language. Thus the tradition has a significant role in moulding the personality of the human creature, which is very sincerely performed by our fore fathers. Within the short span of the short poen of twenty lines the poet has conveyed the idea, quite brilliantly.

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