"The Deserted Village" by Oliver Goldsmith is a nostalgic poem about the passing of a simpler, happier rural past. It tells the story of a village which had once been happy and flourishing, but which is now quite deserted and fallen to ruins.
As for George Crabbe's "The Village", can be perceived as a response to "The Deserted Village", since, unlike Goldsmith, Crabbe conceived the idea of telling the truth about country folk just like he saw it, showing the rural poverty in a very bleak picture from which he himself came.
In the first place, we have "The Deserted Village", starting in very subjective verses, with personal reminiscence: "sweet Auburn! Loveliest village of the plain", "seats of my youth, when every sport could please" (Ferguson and Salter and Stallworthy 627). The village appears entirely stable and serene: "how often have I paused on every charm" (Ferguson and Salter and Stallworthy 627).
However, if we read further in this poem, we get to the point that the poet is merely an observer, waiting for the cheerful laborers who never get back home, but unexpectedly disappear for "amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen […] and tires their echoes with unvaried cries" (Ferguson and Salter and Stallworthy 628) the use of the tyrant image and the sound of echoes leaves nature in a ruinous state, since without human labor, nature is seen by Goldsmith dead: "where once the garden smiled"( Ferguson and Salter and Stallworthy 630).
Furthermore, we find many connotations for the Industrial Revolution that made people flee the country to the city seeking employments, and the agricultural industry gaining control by the big landowners "as ocean sweeps the labored mole away"( Ferguson and Salter and Stallworthy 636).
The poem's imagery of destruction and loneliness "and half the business of destruction done", "downward they move a melancholy band, pass from the shore, and darken all the strand" (Ferguson and Salter and Stallworthy 635) leaves...
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