Critical Analysis of Yeat's 'September 1913'

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This poem, written on the 17th September 1913, is a very political poem (compared to some of his other poems such as ‘The Stolen Child’), and main expresses Yeats’ views on how more materialistic Ireland had become over time.it was written at the same time that there was a general strike which began to threaten work forces, so this period inspired him to write this. He felt that people had started caring a lot more about them-selves and about money and less willing to do what is right for the citizens of Ireland, as the workers have decided to ‘unionize’, for which he is almost ashamed of, as they’ve almost lost their independence. The opening stanza to this poem, with the use of direct address by using ‘you’, is aimed at the shop-keeping/middle class workers. ‘Fumble[ing] in a greasy till’. This description of a worker, using a cash-till, presents them as a rather grubby being. This sentence is very similar to the phrase ‘to grease someone’s palm, which suggests underhand dealing, meaning their motives are less than good and with lives eager for any money and full of greed. It’s almost as if Yeats is saying ‘do you really want to be living like this, being obsessed with money? Yeats is disgusted, it seems, that people have become so money absorbed due to the industrialization of Ireland, ‘adding the halfpence to the pence’, this shows how people now take account of every penny being used. It could also mean that they have all this money coming in, but none is going out to the people, who actually need it, which Yeats finds immoral. Money has overtaken the importance of things that Irish people used to really believe in, like religion, ’money comes before prayer’. Religion used to be a focal part of lifestyle in Ireland, but money has become considerable more valuable than praying, as praying has just become an everyday thing that is felt to be compulsory- but the true meaning of religion has lost it’s meaning. This line suggest that praying is only an...
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