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The Red Wheelbarrow
Focussing on the poem, it can be understood as one that is written to focus on the importance of subsistence farming in pre-20th-century success of the United States as a nation. Looking at the poem it is simple as it paints the picture of a country farmyard hence bringing out the picture of subsistence farming. The imagination of a red, wooden wheelbarrow with drops of rain on it depicts the picture of a subsistence farmer. The rainwater drops are said to glaze meaning that it has just rained, and some white chicken are beside it. The overall picture portrayed is that of a small farm or farmyard for subsistence purposes. The red wheelbarrow according to William Carlos is a vital tool for working in the farm given the statement that he says: “so much depends upon a red wheel-barrow” (Williams 15). In the midst of the poem, one wonders whether there is a red wheel or a red wheelbarrow. The other notable question is what appears to “so much” that depends on a red wheel [barrow]. One is attempted to question whether “so much” also depends on white chickens too. Nonetheless, chicken provides eggs, meat and manure to the farm (Williams 15).
Given that it is subsistence farming, one wonders what is important than the others. Is it a farm, wheelbarrow transport or the food supply? The importance of rainwater droplets is a matter of question as well, and I tend to think that maybe there has been some dry spell or drought. The rainwater drops on the wheelbarrow are signs of important change in weather something that every farmer would treasure including a subsistence farmer. Given that the rainwater drops on the wheelbarrow there are chances that the wheelbarrow could be used to collect the rainwater and then used to water crops or for other farm produce.
Asking the integral questions as far as the poem is concerned helps us understand it implications in subsistence farming. Why is the wheelbarrow red? (McGaw 17) Why is it important that the chickens are white? What has the rainwater got to do with it? Is the wheelbarrow on the ground? Is it part of some other structure linked to a rainwater barrel? (McGaw 19) Are the chickens alive, or have they been killed? Are their carcasses to be carted off to the butchers in the red-wheelbarrow? Is the wheelbarrow red from chicken blood? And so on.
The time when the poem was written is very different from that of today with very different life aspects as compared to what we have currently. During the dating of the poem in 1923, there was the significant deterioration of the stock market due to the Great Depression, and the aftermath of the First World War was evident. With this time in mind, the poem could reflect a hardworking man probably a farmer and a subsistence farmer in particular using wheelbarrow as a tool for the farm. The presence of the white chickens suggests that the owner of the wheelbarrow is a farmer. The simple reason behind this is that during this period, farmers relied mainly on simple tools and equipment like the wheelbarrow. The wheelbarrow would be integral in the life of a farmer so much, and truly he would depend on the red wheelbarrow.
The rainwater drops on the wheelbarrow shows that it is usually used thus emphasizing on its significance. In my perspective, the writing of the poem could not just be that the wheelbarrow was important to the poet, rather the poet was expressing the importance of the wheelbarrow to a farmer.
To a subsistence farmer, the wheelbarrow is an essential support system that he can use to transport the produce from hi.............
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