Poetry Analyses (2) - ENG 112-075 Poetry Analyses The...

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ENG 112-075 Lindsay Harmon Poetry Analyses May 7, 2008 “The Market Economy” by Marge Piercy “The Market Economy,” written by poet and social cause activist Marge Piercy, is free verse, with no rhyme or rhythm, and possesses very few poetic devices. Piercy was born in 1936, and grew up during the rise of capitalism and the New Deal in the U.S., which suggests that her intended speaker is a mother in search of work during wejrowiejf. The speaker could also be Piercy herself. The tone of the poem is relatively consistent throughout. Marge’s topic matter as well as her selection of blatant words creates a gloomy, morose, depressing, disheartening tone. It seems to me that this tone reflects the attitude of American society just after the Great Depression: “You’ve been out of work for a year and they’re hiring at the plastics factory.” Although the tone is consistent throughout the poem, there is a contradiction in argument from the first stanza to the second stanza. Piercy uses mostly denotative words in “The Market Economy,” which she intends to be perceived by dictionary definition. The only connotative expression I came across in the poem is “Smog City,” referring negatively to a capitalist nation full of factories that produce hazardous, harmful waste. The short poem is broken up into only two stanzas. The first lays blatantly lays out the harsh truth about the various health affects the capitalist economy can have on society. She argues that capitalism is harmful by laying out her examples in a hypothetical manner, but in reality, these things that she’s talking about really do happen. The author almost contradicts her arguments in the first stanza by claiming in the second stanza that it’s virtually impossible to stay away from a capitalist economy in order to be successful in life. She does this by presenting questions: “But where else will you work? Where else can you rent but Smog City?” In other words, she is questioning, what other option/choice do we have but be a part of capitalism? The poem lacks any sort of particular rhythm, but the shift or change in ideas from the first stanza to the second stanza provides for an appealing message to the audience. “The Market Economy” also contains very few figures of speech as I found no similes in the poem at all. Piercy presents much of the first stanza in a way that appears to be metaphorical, but is actually a horrifying, deliberate truth. She writes, “you can have polyvinyl cups and wash and wear suits but it will cost you your left lung rotted with cancer,” and she also seems to use “Smog City” as a metaphorical item. By providing these blatant examples to argue that capitalism is causing harm to consumer health, her warrant is backed up effectively. “Smog City” also serves as a symbol representing the American capitalist economy, with factories that produce “smog” and
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Poetry Analyses (2) - ENG 112-075 Poetry Analyses The...

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