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Comparative Analysis

By fergie572 Apr 19, 2008 796 Words
The University of Phoenix
Comparative Analysis Paper
Frank Ferguson
ENG – 120
Charlene Gray Ph.D.
3-3-2008

This is a comparative analysis of the two poems The Old Florist by Theodore Roethke and Factory Work by Deborah Boe. This analysis will be of the differences and similarities of these two poems, showing the relationship between them as well as how they are written. In addition, the analysis will show any poetic techniques used by the poets.

These two poems share the same relationship; they are both poems about the workplace and show the pride that is put forth by each character in his and her job. The first poem, The Old Florist by Theodore Roethke, the reader gets the sense of pride the florist has for his job in the last line of the poem, “or to stand all night watering roses, his feet blue in rubber boots”. (Roethke, 1996). In the last line, the reader gets the feeling of the characters pride from the use of a hyperbole as well as figurative language. The figurative language that is used is found in the second half of this sentence, “his feet blue in rubber boots.” This is referring to how cold his feet were form watering the flowers. The hyperbole is found in the first half of the sentence, “or to stand all night watering roses,” this sentence is exaggerated to show the willingness, dedication and pride the florist has for his job.

In the second poem, Factory Work by Deborah Boe, the sense of pride the character has for her job is found in the lines “last week they ran a contest to see which shankers shanked fastest. I’m not embarrassed to say I beat them all” (Boe, 1996). Although the first of these two sentences may not have much importance by itself but sets up the next sentence which shows the characters pride knowing that she is the best at what she does, “I’m not embarrassed to say I beat them all” (Boe, 1996). The denotation of the contest is how the reader is able to find out that the character is the best at what she does.

These two poems are similar they both seem to have a free verse form and having the same theme, being that the characters have great pride in what they do. Yet these poems do have their differences, in the poem The Old Florist the authors use of alliteration in the use of the word “or” and the authors use of line breaks to get some words to rhyme at the end of certain lines. An example of how the line breaks create assonance between the three words “roots”, “juice”, and “boots”. In the poem, Factory Work the author does not use assonance in this poem, but the author does use a rhythm to give the reader a sense of how the character feels about her job and the love she has for her grandfather. The author also uses a little personification in the line, “My machine ate up my shirt once,” (Boe, 1996). The personification is the association of the machine “eating” the characters shirt like a human would eat food. There is other personification used later in the poem it is found in the lines after the character informs the reader of her winning the shankers contest, “It’s all in economy of motion, all the moves on automatic. I almost don’t need to look at what I’m doing” the character is referring to herself as if she were an automated machine in an assembly line. The author also uses symbolism in this poem. The author makes a symbolic reference about her grandfather trying to communicate to her that morning as she was making eggs and as she shut out her lights before going to work. Then at work, she is reminded of her grandfather by looking at a man an aisle over from her workstation.

These two poems have their similarities and their differences. They both show the feeling of pride that each character has for their jobs. Both poets have written their poems in a free verse form of poetry. These two poems do have their differences; the poet Theodore Roethke uses hyperbole, figurative language, alliteration, line breaks and assonance to express the characters pride for his job. Poet Deborah Boe uses denotation, rhythm, personification and symbolism to convey the emotion of the character.


Bibliography
Boe, D. (1996). Factory Work. In C. L. Coughlin, The Art of Work, An Anthology of Workplace Literature (pp. 243,244). Cincinnati, Ohio: Southwestern Educational Publishing. Roethke, T. (1996). The Old Florist. In C. L. Coughlin, The Art of Work, An Anthology of Workplace Literature (p. 242). Cincinnati, Ohio: Southwestern Educational Publishing.

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