The Carpenter's Son

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"We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (Hebrews 10:10) Devout Christians should be familiar with those words as they revolve around the noble death of God's one and only son, who is one of the cornerstones of the Christian faith. This man and his sacrifice are frequently referred to by poets and there are several poems whose entire message is all about Jesus Christ. One such poem is a satire written by poet A. E. Housman, titled “The Carpenter's Son”. Housman’s work is not your conventional religious poem as it offers a very negative view on mankind and Jesus himself, which is considered extremely offensive and crude by a large majority of readers. Yet, like many other poets, Housman's faith greatly influenced the poetry he wrote, which was also a reflection of not only his religion, but his life. When a person goes through a pivotal event in their life, that event often changes their religious views, which can be observed in their creative writing. The message of Housman's poem “The Carpenter's Son” is a reflection of signifcant incidents from his past, that altered his faith and religious beliefs such as his mother's passing and his unrequited love for another man.

While initially very devoted to his religion, the death of Housman's mother caused him to lose faith, which seems to have greatly shaped the message of “The Carpenter's Son”. He was born into a large and very religious family; his great-grandfather was a preacher, causing much of his life to revolve around the family's faith. Out of his parents and six other siblings, Housman was closest to and most attached to his mother. Unfortunately, at the age of twelve, he lost his mother to cancer. This loss of the most important person in Housman's life struck a heavy blow to the young boy, who, as the eldest of seven children, was forced to accept a large amount of responsibility and help care for his siblings. Following his mother's death, he...
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