To a Mouse
In the poems Robert Burns’ “To a Mouse” and “The Mouse’s Petition” by Anna Letitia Barbauld, many feelings and emotions about mice are brought forth. While both poems were written by different authors, many of the feelings they share towards mice are common. The analysis of the two poems will help to find the comparisons and differences in theme, political and social issues, diction, and tone. Examples from the poems will help to show the similarities and differences in the two.
The tone of each poet in the poems, many similarities become evident. Both poets portray a sad and guilty tone when talking about mice. When Barbauld begins to write about what she believes the mouse is feeling inside of the test cage, the reader gets an idea how
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Barbauld never once mentions how mice may in fact have it easier than humans do, but in the final lines from “To a Mouse” Burns does indicate being a mouse may sometimes be easier. “Still thou art blest compared wi’ me! (Burns, l.43) Burns states that even though a mouse may not want to be a human, Burns believes a mouse has the ability to solely live in the present, and cannot remember the past or have to think of the future. Burns shares the dread he feels when he must remember the past or think about the future. Burns wishes he never had such a burden, and believes mice would not want to have such a burden either. For this reason while the two poems’ themes are very similar, they still have striking differences in how they view mice and men. Many Political issues were raised when the two poems were written. In 1773, the same year “The Mouse’s Petition” was written, the Boston tea party movement had happened. This happened soon after the British parliament granted it a monopoly to the North American tea trade. While this made the British happy it was the beginning of a revolt by the Americans. They felt they should not have to be taxed for their own goods. The Americans fought back by raiding the tea ships going to the British and dumping all the tea into the ocean. While this was a revolt for the Americans, for the British not much had happened except for the fact they had seen what happens as a