In my opinion ‘Stealing’ and ‘The Laboratory’ explore different themes, but they do have one thing in common which is the characters in the poems do not feel one bit guilty. The main themes in ‘Stealing’ are boredom and loneliness, whilst the main themes in ‘The Laboratory’ are revenge and jealousy. ‘Stealing’ is about a boy or a girl who explains how he/she once stole a snowman and destroys it by kicking its head in. From reading the poem I gathered that the poem is describing a boy performing these mental acts.Throughout the poem it describes how he steals pointless things like cars and breaks into houses just to “have a look”. At this part in the poem I think the boy did not have a normal upbringing and was a lonely child, so he breaks into houses just to see what a normal household looks like. Also if the boy did not have a normal upbringing this is probably the explanation for the random acts of violence.
On the other hand, ‘The Laboratory’ is about a woman who sees the apothecary to get poison to kill a love rival. She takes pleasure in watching its preparation and it’s determined to enjoy her revenge.This is similar to ‘Stealing’ as both poems get the thrill out of unpleasant things; killing her lover and knowing that children will cry over the snowman. I believe that ‘Stealing’ and ‘The Laboratory’ have completely different structures. In ‘Stealing’ there are 5 stanzas whereas in ‘The Laboratory’ had 12 stanzas. I feel as though ‘Stealing’ is set out like an interview, as if he was in trouble with the police, or even his parents. At the end of every stanza in ‘The Laboratory’ there is a full stop, this emphasises the woman’s certainty of her plan and this makes it more chilling.On the other hand, both poems have direct speech which creates impact.
Also stealing has a cliff-hanger ending and ends with a rhetorical question which to me made it more personal when I read it. The tone and atmosphere of ‘Stealing’ is quite similar in my opinion to ‘The Laboratory’. In believe that the tone in ‘Stealing’ could be viewed in two different ways, firstly I think sneering and aggressive because it sounds as if the writer is annoyed at ordinary people who cannot understand.
Secondly, I feel as if the poem creates a sad and lonely atmosphere almost as if the boy is asking for help or attention. I think this because in the poem, when it says “I was standing alone among lumps of snow, sick of the world” it makes me sympathise, but also it when it says “part of the thrill was knowing that children would cry in the morning” it doesn’t make me sympathise because I believe that is a cruel and mentally disturbing thought.The Laboratory’ also creates a disturbing image, as she “carries pure death in an earring”.
This is an important part of the poem as she is hiding a killer solution in a valuable item and “pure death” is an oxymoron because death is in no way pure. The ironic thing is, the poem is set in some sort of apothecary where this deadly potion is being made, yet there is no unpleasant or negative atmosphere, she seems to be quite happy about the fact that she’s about to murder somebody, which also emphasizes her possible insanity.Both people in the poems are not guilty at all for their actions, so they are in some ways similar. I have noticed that in both poems the poets repeat some words which creates impact and is effective. In ‘Stealing’ it says “again, again” and in ‘The laboratory” it says “laugh, laugh”. In ‘Stealing’ the “again, again” sentence was extremely effective because as the speaker smashes the snowman up it adds to his self-destructive behaviour.In ‘The Laboratory’ the “laugh, laugh” sentence is described when the woman is feeling paranoid and humiliated as she feels her husband and Pauline are laughing at her and at this point in the poem the repetition makes it more intense to read.
Also, “part of the thrill” makes me think that the speaker has had no affection from his parents, so he needs to feel loved as he is desperate, also the quote makes me think that the only way of him having happiness is him watching children cry, this sadistic thought makes me sympathise as it’s like he has no life.On the other hand, ‘The Laboratory’ says “pulses come and go”, is a symbol of death because if there is no pulse then there in no heartbeat. This emphasises how desperate the woman is to kill them that she will do anything to get revenge. This is similar to ‘Stealing’ because both speakers are desperate and are reaching out for something. In both poems there is a lot of imagery that is effective and these deep images made me want to read on.In ‘Stealing’ the images I noticed was “ice within my own brain” and “chill piercing my gut”, to me this is a symbol for the cold and loneliness of the speaker, because it’s as if the snowman is inside of them, as well as on the outside. In ‘The Laboratory’ the images I noticed were “devils smithy” and “tying thy glass mask tightly”.
“Devils smithy” creates an image of hell and death where torture commences and evil acts occur, this shows how desperately she wants to kill the woman and she wants her to endure the most painful death ever.Tying thy glass mask tightly” creates an image of death as it shows how she is preparing for her psychotic killing, this adds to the mental and disturbing thoughts that occur in her mind, just like ‘Stealing’. Two effective phrases from ‘Stealing’ are “lifes tough” and “kicking head”, in my opinion these two phrases are effective because “lifes tough” makes me sympathise for the speaker because if sounds as if he was neglected as a child and he had a difficult upbringing, its like he knows the meaning of the phrases, and also the short sentence is concise and is sharp and creates impact.Two effective phrases from ‘The Laboratory’ are “exquisite blue” and “brand, burn up, bite”, I think that these two phrases are effective because ” exquisite blue” emphasises how she is not guilty and is proud of what she is doing, also the speaker refers to colour which shows how valuable the poison is to her. In my opinion, these two poems differ but also are similar in different ways.In conclusion, both poems explore themes of revengeful acts and are both set out to cause damage.
To me, this shows that both speakers are similar as they are perform lethal acts which end up people hurt, or even killed because of them. My favourite poem was ‘The Laboratory’ as the message that the poet was portraying was crystal clear although both poems were incredibly effective in my point of view.