Comparative Analysis Paper

Topics: Poetry, African American, Reader-response criticism Pages: 2 (710 words) Published: July 30, 2008
Comparative Analysis Paper - Poetry
Downtrodden, oppressed, and tyrannized are only some of the ways people may consider themselves while in less than ideal circumstances in life. Many books, short stories, and even poems have been written to illustrate the downtrodden and the plight in which they find themselves. In the following paragraphs an analysis will be conducted on three poems that were written using the downtrodden theme. Through this analysis the relationship between poetic technique and workplace themes, along with the relationship between poetic techniques and reader response will be discovered using examples shown from the poems An Old Charcoal Seller by Po Chu-Yi, Share-Croppers by Langston Hughes, and “Butch” Weldy by Edgar Lee Masters. In the poem, An Old Charcoal Seller by Po Chu-Yi, Yi uses colors, or the lack there of, to describe different portions of the scene. At the beginning of the poem Yi uses colors such as gray and black to set the tone as dark and dismal so that the reader might in reality feel the struggle which the old charcoal seller is experiencing. However, later in the poem Yi uses bright colors to describe the imperial envoy and the lace and damask dropped as payment for the coal they have taken. The bright colors represent everything that is supposed to be good and noble about the envoy and their position of importance, authority, and control over the regular peasant. Yi also uses other adjectives to describe the old charcoal seller such as his poor body covered with rags that are thin and threadbare, while he describes the imperial envoy as dashing garbed in colored outfits. Using these techniques, Yi is able to draw a clear distinction between the have’s and have not’s. In the poem, Share-Cropper by Langston Hughes, Hughes starts the reader out by using the word “just” to set the tone describing the Negroes as nothing important and not of any relevance or stature. Hughes also uses the word “herd” in several places to...
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