Analysis Of The Poem ' Who Burns For The Perfection Of Paper `` By Martin Espada

1030 Words Jul 14th, 2015 5 Pages
The common theme uniting the poem “Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper” by Martin Espada and the excerpt taken from Charles Dickens’ novel Hard Times is the hard labor that goes into the goods we take for granted and how that hard labor becomes invisible and insignificant. They differ greatly however in the viewpoint presented. Whereas Dickens’ narrator tends to reinforce the distance between work and the finished product — his “fine lady,” for instance, “could scarcely bear to hear… mentioned” a place like Coketown — Espada’s narrator uses metaphor to unite the pain of labor and the legal pads and law books that every law student makes use of. Dickens’ description of Coketown appears to be more concerned with emphasizing the dehumanizing nature of industrial toil, while Espada, by personifying the worker’s finished product as a pair of stinging hands, wants us to see the individual and his pain.
Dickens’ concern with the dehumanizing nature of industrial labor is evident in the following lines describing the Coketown streets: “inhabited by people equally like one another, who all went in and out at the same hours, with the same sound upon the same pavements, to do the same work, and to whom every day was the same as yesterday and tomorrow, and every year the counterpart of the last and the next.” The repetition and alliteration in Dickens’ work helps us understand the tediousness and unchanging lives these towns’ people in Coketown went through on a daily basis. Dickens…

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