The Lotus Eaters: In Support of the Use of Drugs

Topics: Argumentative, Drug, Recreational drug use Pages: 2 (627 words) Published: April 3, 2014
It could be suggested that the poem, The Lotos Eaters and Choric Song, is in support for the use of drugs, due to the way that the mariners and the island are described. Tennyson uses rich, beautiful descriptions of the surroundings of the lotos eaters, such as ‘gleaming river’, ‘slow-dropping veils’ and ‘sunset flushed’. This imagery in reference to the beauty of the island allows us to feel drawn to it in the same way the mariners are. There is a sense of quiet contentment with ‘warm breezes’ blowing and streams ‘flowing’ into the river from ‘purple’ hills. The sounds of nature lull rather than disturb, which is a stark contrast to the idea of a dangerous and rough life on the sea. Through these depictions, Tennyson entices the reader to side with the mariners and submit to a life of effortlessness and simplicity by taking these ‘drugs’.  

The stanzas in the second half provide different arguments for the mariners’ decision to stay on the island. One argument is that nature doesn’t seem to have to be active and dynamic, but instead is permitted to simply ‘ripen and fade’ and ‘take no care’. This argues the idea that the use of drugs offers you the opportunity to simply be, rather than experience hardship and toil. It suggests that drug-taking is in line with the way of nature, and so, in this sense, Tennyson does not condemn it but support it. The sailors also describe their travels on the sea in terms of "sharp distress", "heaviness," and "sorrow". They complain that their journey home is itself a death wish and that they are only driving themselves closer the ‘grave’ by leaving the island. These arguments set up an argument for the taking of drugs or ‘the lotos’, since it suggests that it relieves a person of stress and turmoil, and puts you at ease.

On the other hand, because by the sixth stanza the voice changes from an omniscient narrator to the voice of the mariners, it is clearly presented to the reader that the Choric song is largely biased and...
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