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Comparison of Humanist and Postmodernist Writers and Poems Essay Example

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Comparison of Humanist and Postmodernist Writers and Poems

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Comparison of Humanist and Postmodernist Writers and Poems. The poem moves from the general to the specific by analyzing suffering in Breughel’s famous painting, The Fall of Icarus. In the painting, an observer would not notice the death of Icarus as he falls from the sky because it is a very small image in the background. In the foreground, the main image is of a man plowing. The whole of the theme of the poem is contained in the following, “the ploughman may / Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry, / But for him it was not an important failure” (Auden 15-7). Each man must face suffering and death, but this process is important for that man alone. All others are too busy with life to stop and notice. Yeats “September 1913” is a poem he wrote in response to the General Strike of 1913 in Ireland and to attack growing commercialization in Ireland.

However, because Yeats wrote the poem in a moment of passion and as a reaction to a historical event, the critique of commercialism is suspect because the Yeats brings such bias to his poem. The entire poem uses language to prejudice the reader against capitalism and mercantilism. The merchants have “dried the marrow from the bone” of the workers (Yeats 5). This image is a particularly loaded because reader can imagine industry devouring the worker. The poem implies that industry is destroying and sucking life from the worker and that “Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone” (7). To say that these words overstate the situation is itself an understatement.The entirety of the poem presents a picture that is so one-sided as to become a parody of what it is attacking. Yeats sets up a romanticized view of Ireland that does not correspond to Ireland’s history. The island has always been poor in wealth due to a lack of natural resources, subjugation by neighboring countries, and constant in-fighting amongst its residents. To portray old Ireland as a paradise in comparison to modern industrial Ireland misrepresents the case. Yeats rosy view of the past is directly stated in the final stanza: “Yet could we turn the years again, / And call those exiles as they were . / They weighed so lightly what they gave, / But let them be” (Yeats 25-6, 30-1). The poem intends to turn back the country to a time that is better, a time that does not exist.In the two critiques presented, the reader can see the difference in interpretation. The Humanist found a universal truth, that man’s suffering is a private. Comparison of Humanist and Postmodernist Writers and Poems.

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preview essay on Comparison of Humanist and Postmodernist Writers and Poems
  • Pages: 2 (500 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Literature
  • Level: Undergraduate
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