About the Poet:
Well-known for being one of the first renowned English metaphysical poets of his time, Andrew Marvell was also a satirist and politician. Born on the 31st of March 1621 in Yorkshire to the clergyman of the Church of England, he completed his Bachelors at Trinity College, Cambridge. Having traveled through continental Europe, he seemed to have mastered four languages that included French, Italian and Spanish. Marvell’s poems vary from the romantic lore of “to His Coy Mistress” and “The Definition of Love”, to the empowering political address in “An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland”, to the overwhelming tale of the aristocratic household in “Upon Appleton House” and “Garden”. Marvell was known for his sly use of words disguised in his poems to denote his ideals and views in the metaphysical nature.
Introduction to The Mower, Against Gardens:
This poem by Andrew Marvell is about the modern man seducing and abusing nature as a being. The Mower directs towards the sovereign man that might have deserved the rare gift of nature, had he not made improper hybrids of plants and trees to create new hybrids. The Mower believes these modern men to be adulterates that are infecting the course of nature and dismisses them to be tyrants.
Setting of The Mower, Against Gardens:
The poem is set in the modern times where the 21st century man is seen as a manipulator for trying to bend nature with his hands and striving to make new inventions like “Marvel of Peru.” The Mower compares men to be like ruthless owners to a house of concubines and wishes to defy their purpose of manipulating nature in such a way.
Poetic Devices in The Mower, Against Gardens:
Line 3: “And from the fields the flowers”
Line 4: “… plain and pure”
Line 8: “Which stupefied them while it fed”
Line 15: “…. They then so highly did hold”
Line 21: “… between the bark and tree”
Line 26: “Might put the plate in dispute.”
Line 32: “… fields do lie forgot”
Line 35: “… fauns and fairies”
Line 37: ‘… their presence than their skill”
Line 42: “… within us do dwell.”
Andrew Marvell, being the metaphysical poet that he is, speaks of personified and metaphorical verses in each sentence of the poem, hence evolving the entire poem to be metaphorical in entirety.
Style of The Mower, Against Gardens:
Luxurious man, to bring his vice in use, (A)
Did after him the world seduce, (A)
And from the fields the flowers and plants allure, (B)
Where nature was most plain and pure. (B)
He first enclosed within the gardens square (C)
A dead and standing pool of air, (C)
And a more luscious earth for them did knead, (D)
Which stupified them while it fed. (D)
Summary of The Mower, Against Gardens:
The poem by Andrew Marvell deals with the harsh reality of man taking advantage of nature’s resources to give form to build new and hybrid varieties of species. They are seen by the Mower as owners to whore houses, just as how they utilize the women to make their profits. The poem ends with Marvell reminding the fact that nature’s elements are making efforts to nurture the environment while man still continues to misuse it.
Critical Analysis of The Mower, Against Gardens:
This poem by Marvell explores the relationship between humans and nature. He wants the reader to be informed about how men of the modern day aim to misuse nature for their own profit. The voice of the mower is much like that of the conscience of the mind, asking the reader in the end to believe in nature’s elements that are struggling to work against all the work that man has manipulated with.
Central Idea of The Mower, Against Gardens:
The theme of this poem revolves around the malpractices that man has been working on with the facilities that nature provides to him as a gift. The Mower acts as the voice of the truth that reflects the wrongs done by humans and asks them to beware of their actions against nature.
Tone of The Mower, Against Gardens:
The poem begins with the mower naming man to be the culprit for seducing nature for his profit. He is shown to be as tyrannical as the shallow owners of whore houses that misuse women for their gain. He later reminds man of the forces of nature that are working against all the manipulation and they will soon succeed in restoring the true form of nature.
The poem is a confrontation of the truth that the world is facing from the battle between man and the forces of nature. Marvell wishes to address these problems to the readers and wants them to be conscious of their actions. He warns them of a bitter future if they do not begin to help condition the elements of nature instead of exploiting it.
Contributor: Deeksha Honawar