Writer's choice - Essay Example

Within the poem “"What Work Is" by Phillip Levine, the pronoun “you” is used to express the true emotions that the people faced during the Great Depression. Some of the struggles that Levine brings out in the poem include the sleepless nights relatives underwent in such of…
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Writers choice
Download file to see previous pages From this assertion, one can affirm that people struggled very much during the Great Depression in order to survive. In relation to this, Levine starts his poem by explaining on how a man is standing in line in order to secure work at Ford Highland Park. He then states, “You know what work is …Forget you. This is about waiting… (lines 3 and 6). In writing this, Levine shows that people during the Great Depression had to work in order to get money to support their families. In asserting “forget you”, Levine means people used to work their entire life. In other words, people had no option of deciding on when to stop working (Levine, 2015). In line 1-5, Levine claims that people used to wait in the line for work even when it was raining. In writing this, Levine mourns the stunted lives people lived during those times. In tandem with this, Levine expounds on the diminishing hope of some of the workers in the line. For instance, in line 15-17 Levine laments “… yours but with the same sad slouch, the grin that does not hide the stubbornness, the sad refusal to give in to rain, to the hours of wasted waiting …” (Levine, 2009). In writing this, Levine portrays that workers had to know someone in order to get a job. This is a clear indication of assessing jobs was very difficult during those times.
Line 20-21 express the climax of the poem by asserting that “No, we’re not hiring today,’ for any reason he wants.” This assertion is a realization point for the character in the poem. Even though the man in the poem knows that he will not a get a job, he still holds on and looks for one. In other words, the Great Depression had a significant mental effect on the people. It made them believe getting a job as the only solution to any problem in life. Although the seeking of a job was the key issue to the people during the Great Depression, it is apparent that there was something more important to one’s life than just working. This is evidenced ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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