The Good Old Days! To help bring out the message in a poem, the author will use many literary devises. Often the author will write about real life situations or maybe they will write about fantasies. A poem is a fascinating style of writing. It can tell a story or just get a message across. There are different kinds of poetry, and the level of understanding differs greatly depending on the poem and poet. In the case of Gwendolyn Brooks, her poems are very straight forward and easy to comprehend. Techniques such as imagery, diction, and style help in getting the message across on Gwendolyn Brooks' poem "The Bean Eaters." The poem "The Bean Eaters" by Gwendolyn Brooks is a very straight forward poem in terms of its meaning. It starts off by describing an elderly couple as an "old yellow pair." The poem goes on by saying that the elderly couple eats dinner, which is beans on this particular day, as "a casual affair."
In the poem, the couple doesn't seem to have very much and eat their dinner on plain chip ware on a plain creaking wood." The second stanza tells the reader that the couple is "Mostly Good" and says that they have lived their lives and their days are near. But instead of giving in, they live on by "putting their clothes away and putting things away." The third and final stanza goes on by telling the reader that this elderly couple lives in a "rented back room," which shows that the couple does not have much. The little room they have "is full of beads and receipts and dolls and cloths, tobacco crumbs, vases and fringes." These objects are all this couple has left which is basically just their memories and each other.
The diction in "The Bean Eaters" is very simple. By keeping the diction so simple, the poem becomes very easy to understand. The diction in the poem gives the reader a sort of sympathetic feeling for the elderly couple. The words used in Brooks' poem make it appear as though the couple has very little. The poem starts off by telling the reader the couple is at "a plain creaking wood" which is used as their dinner table. Also, instead of using fancy silver ware, the couple is using "plain chip ware" and "tin flatware". The author uses simple words and this could perhaps reflect that the couple had a simple life. Their memories consist of "beads and receipts." These are very simple object along with "dolls and cloths." Once again, since these things are very simple and plain, it could reflect how simple and plain their lives were. Also in the first stanza was the word "plain" twice in the third line and "casual" in the second. All this is, is really just a description of the lives the elderly couple lived. But despite all this simplicity the two lived through, they "kept putting on their clothes and putting their things away." The style of the poem also helps to get the message of the across. Besides the first word of every line being capitalized the only other two words that are capitalized are "Mostly Good." Also, the other unusual thing is that the lost two lines are indented. In my opinion, this is done to put emphasis on these areas. The reason for this is that even though the couple does not have much, they still had good things in the past. This is why the two are referred to as "Mostly Good." It is really their lives that were good until now where they only have each other and their memories of what they had. And this would be the "beads and the receipts and dolls and cloths Ã¢ÂÂ¦" The reader knows that the elderly couple does not have much and sympathizes the couple; however they do not feel very sorry for them. This is done purposely by Gwendolyn Brooks by using rhyme. In each stanza, at least two lines rhyme with each other to give a pleasant feeling. This feeling is supposed to eliminate any feeling of sorrow you feel for this couple and gives you the sympathetic feeling instead.
The poem by Brooks is full of imagery. In the beginning, the couple is eating dinner "on a plain creaking wood" with their "plain chip ware." This couple also lives in a "rented back room." This just gives the impression that the couple is all cramped up in a small dark room. And they couldn't afford to get themselves a real dinner table, so they were using a piece of wood to eat on. In the second stanza, the poem mentions that the couple has "lived their day, but keep on putting on their cloths and putting this away." This gives the impression that the couple is not having much fun and they are getting tired of things. But they endure the struggle and keep going on. Then in the third stanza the author mentions that the room is full of items that are their memories. This gives the impression that the little room they are in is stuffed with junk that means so much to them. And I get the image that as they are eating the beans; they are looking around and are missing the times they had in the past.
"The Bean Eaters" is a simple poem about an elderly African-American couple that is sitting around a table and eating beans. During this dinner affair, they look around the room and remember the old times they had together. Brooks' writes this in a way where the reader will feel somewhat sorry for the couple but too much. It is a type of story wrapped up in three stanzas, each about four lines each. By keeping the poem short and to the point, Brooks makes the poem very enjoyable. Also the techniques she used helped in making this poem as enjoying as it was.