Andrew Marvell: Poems

A Stylistic Analysis of Andrew Marvell's Mower Against the Garden College

Andrew Marvell’s Mower Against the Garden is the first in a series of four ‘Garden’ poems. The poem can be read literally, as a pastoral, ecological poem concerned with the destruction of the natural landscape as a result of human consumerism; in particular the fashion for highly ornate, architectural gardens. This is an easy assumption to make when taking Marvell’s personal background into account. Marvell grew up in rural Yorkshire, the son of a clergyman and later resided at Nun Appleton House as a tutor to Lord Fairfax’s daughter. It is therefore a fair assumption to make that he would be familiar with high lifestyle and possibly be concerned enough to have an opinion on ecological consequences. However, if we regard Marvell as a metaphysical poet, as he is credited to be, we realise there are Edenic references. Mira Sengupta’s interpretation of the poem argues that we have to read the poem as a metaphorical allegory for the fall of humankind, and that the assumption that the garden represents nature is “overly simplistic” and that it represents human nature before the fall .

Marvell’s structuring of the poem supports Sengupta’s argument. While the...

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