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Chicago Midwest-Short Answer Questions - Essay Example

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Chicago Midwest-Short Answer Questions

The hardships of working people are often described in a dry, reporting tone, indicating how far they are from typical aristocratic discourse of poetry (“Onions”). At the same time, Sandburg often mythologizes his workers, comparing their strength, patience, and knowledge of life with ancient heroes and sages: “I thought he had a real soul and knew a lot about God / There was light in his eyes of one who has conquered sorrow in so far as sorrow is conquerable or worth conquering” (“Fellow Citizens” 13-14). ...
sun, the wind, sensually described healthy flesh and sound spirit) and killing activities like war or devastating toil (associated with red color, gluttony, guns, and shovels as the symbols of death). It is remarkable how Sandburg uses refrains, personalization, and depersonalization of the objects and human being to show the power of time as compared to the working and killing tools and even life: “Broken and no use any more: / Dreams of the way and the end go on” (“Among the Red Guns” 20-21). Sometimes he is philosophically sarcastic, like in the poem in which he describes how ignorant are both Napoleon and the contemporary war leaders in their greed for conquest (“Statistics”). His view of war is polyphonic: he may picture a cheerful youngster with the map of war in the peaceful hall (“Buttons”) or make a killer his lyrical subject (speaking from his part in “Fight”). The violent imagery like beasty jaws, repeated work of people with empty faces, and pouring blood may be found throughout all the collection. Still, Sandburg seems to desire small and gentle things, much like a soldier in the hospital: “Bring me only beautiful useless things” (“Murmurings in a Field Hospital” 8). 3. It is known that Midwest is connected with political activism and “the Great Migration” of African Americans. Hence, the themes of fight for freedom and “a pain” that “still throbs in the old, old scars” (13) are typical for the literature of Midwest in African American community. Other elements of the poem are also notable for their influence on later writers such as Toni Morrison: 1) singing, melodic language as a way of intermediacy in communication, especially in hard times (in Morrison’s Song of Solomon, the song marks important turning points ...Show more


Professor Name English Literature (Classic and Modern) 2 Nov 2012 Chicago Midwest-Short Answer Questions 1. Sandburg describes Chicago’s working masses from 2 main angles, depending mainly on the part of his Chicago Poems. One group of poems is fully devoted to individual stories of workers (the examples are “The Shovel Man”, “Muckers”, “Child of the Romans”, “Fish Crier”, “Onion Days”, “The Right to Grief”), while in many other poems (like “Chicago”, “Halsted Street Car”, “Graceland”, “Skyscraper”) the author sees people as almost mechanic entity deprived of individual space, spirit, and human rights: “And when she pulls on her stockin…
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