The world’s two most influential things have done nothing but caused conflicts throughout the years from Helen of troy right down to the Nazi war machines occupations of Europe, no I’m not talking about hay-wire dictators or powerful armies I’m talking about love and hate.
Not only do these emotions help to make our lives a lot more interesting but both can sometimes cause pain in a mental state as well as an emotional or physical one.
Both of these emotions are extremely interesting as one can turn into another quite easily. Love for example can easily be transformed into hate by being unrequited, changes like this are traditionally known as alchemy which is a major theme in both poems. Although the alchemy in “The Laboratory” is literally visible in the whole setting of the poem in the other poem “Havisham” it is totally metaphorical because the woman does not literally change into something new on the outside but emotionally deep down she does and referring to these changes as alchemy is the only way these changes can be fully described.
One of the connections that are made through the poems is poison, whereas the woman in “The Laboratory” is buying a poison to kill her lover the woman in “Havisham” is almost being poisoned by her own hatred for her lover who jilted her at the altar. We know this because on verse one line three “Not a day since then I haven’t wished him dead. prayed for it so hard I’ve dark green pebbles for eyes”, this can be interpreted a few ways, one of which is is that her eyes have literally turned green like the mythical green eyed monster which is usually associated with being envious of somebody, perhaps envious of her lost lover and how he is probably not suffering as much from him abandoning her on their wedding day as what she is. Another way of interpreting this line is that in tradition the eyes are usually known as the windows to the soul which must mean that her soul must be stained from her hatred deep within herself. Also this line brings up a new theme shared with both of the poems that looks can be deceiving, although “Havisham” is praying it does not necessarily mean she is praying for something morally decent like prayer is generally used for and has prayed for the death of her lost lover.
In “The Laboratory” the alchemy theme is in plain view of the reader because the main character is in a laboratory buying poison to kill her unfaithful husband and/or possibly his mistress but the one main theme that sticks out is that looks can be deceiving, this is mostly evident in most of this poem but in one place in particular is in verse one line one where it says “these faint smokes curling whitely” , we don’t associate faint smoke as any kind of danger as we would if it was thick black smoke which we naturally expect would be the residue of a harsh burning fire but this smoke must be harmful otherwise she would not...