A Comparison of Wasted Lives

Essay by gettingbyUniversity, Bachelor'sA, May 2004

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W.D. Snodgrass's "Disposal" is filled with plenty of imagery, but it lacks the complex issues of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby." Both the poem and the lyric deal with the issue of people who most likely spent their lives being lonely and shut out from the world; however Snodgrass focuses on just the one woman rather than lonely people in general. The authors have their own way of getting across a similar issue by using different imagery and depths of loneliness.

"Disposal" is a poem told about a woman who has passed away and her belongings are being given away. The people who are sorting through everything are the narrators and seem to be describing her failure at a full life by what they are finding in her drawers. On the other hand, "Eleanor Rigby" is told from an omniscience point of view. Eleanor is a woman who works in a church and is cleaning up the rice from a wedding she obviously didn't attend.

Eleanor dies and Father McKenzie is the one who buries her. He is a complete stranger to Eleanor even though they work in the same church. They are brought together only by the empty ritual of her burial. Nobody is judging

them; instead you get a glimpse of what happens when you go through life in solitude. "Eleanor Rigby" is more narrative than "Disposal."

The theme for both is geared around wasted lives. Lennon and McCartney don't go into detail about an individual person; still they are able to place deeper issues into the lyrics.

"Wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave,

No one was saved."

These lines show a deeper meaning of how Father McKenzie was more concerned with the fact...