Self Entrapment In Stan Rice's Monkey Hill

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Self Entrapment In “Monkey Hill,” Stan Rice writes about the speaker’s experience when going to the zoo and visiting the spider monkey exhibit. The speaker looks at the monkeys throughout the poem pointing out certain actions that occur. Throughout the poem, Rice highlights different things each monkey does. Ultimately, Rice illustrates the fact that the monkeys act as a metaphor: although they are trapped in an enclosure, internally they are free. On the other hand, the speaker fails to realize that we as humans are free people that can do what we want, but internally we are imprisoned. Ultimately the speaker feels unaware to the fact that we are self conscious about our actions as people. Stan Rice first highlights the speaker’s obsession…show more content…
When night falls, and the visitors leave the spider monkey exhibit and then eventually the zoo, the speaker is the only one left, back where he started at the bench. The speaker then starts to compare what the monkey did by reaching at his bottom, to what would happen if a human did it. He goes on to talk about how wrong it is. The speaker wants everyone to know this but he can’t say it so he says, “... and we will say these words as we stand; no; think them.” Rice uses diction fantastically here. By putting semicolons in between the word no, it really lets the reader know that the speaker is self conscious. Instead of speaking the words, the speaker second guesses himself and decides to say it in his head. Even though night has come and everyone has left the zoo, the speaker is still afraid to let his beliefs be heard. To go along with the same scene in the poem about the monkey reaching at his backside, the speaker says “we will feel as if humanity is endangered and that our intimate moments might lap over into the animal-world.” Rice uses the literary device: simile, to set up this scene. Rice uses it perfectly in the sense of comparing our intimate moments to those of animals. Basically, the speaker would feel worried if humans acted as animals, then they would have no remorse. The speaker feels humanity would be endangered if we as humans acted shameless. But at the same time the speaker is obsessed with the fact that the monkeys are internally free, but we are not. It is almost as if he wonders how can they be so shameless, and he wants to find that out to emulate that as
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