“the Hand That Signed the Paper” Analysis

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“the Hand That Signed the Paper” Analysis

By | September 2010
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“The Hand That Signed the Paper” consists of four stanzas that harshly mock the cold and unfriendliness present of politics and conflict. In my opinion this poem is about war, revealing the speakers disgust for political leaders overall. The poet makes audience feel as though the hand that signed the paper is worthless or despicable. These overpowering figures with in the poem seem to be important and arrogant for putting themselves in a powerful, life or death situation. The first stanza is notifying the audience that a simple signing of this document sets off a tragic and irreversible outcome. “Double the globe of dead and halved a country; These five kings did a king to death” (Stanza 1, Line3-4) is referring to the decision to execute the king and to a country splitting up in the processes. The second stanza mocks the “mighty hand” (Stanza 2, Line 5) that is responsible for these terrible outcomes by using descriptive words, such as, “sloping shoulder” (Stanza 2, Line 5). Also, the poet is telling the audience that the man in the poem has arthritis when he says, “The finger joints are crammed with chalk;” (Stanza 2, Line 6). This information I find to be useless to the meaning of the poem, but when the speaker says, “A goose’s quill has put an end to murder” I believe he is giving away what the documentation really is, a peace treaty. In the third stanza, the poet informs the audience that the peace treaty has not solved anything; times are extremely awful. With good intentions, the man signed the peace treaty to solve the suffering brought on by war, but instead it has caused more damage. ”And famine grew, and locusts came” (Stanza 3, Line 10) is telling the readers that the country has an extreme amount of people suffering of hunger and disease. The last stanza compassionately informs the reader that politicians act very inhumane. Politicians like to think of themselves as God, maintaining absolute control over who are to live and who are to be destroyed....
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