Work and Love.

Essay by zzzaaaqqq November 2005

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The poem "Hard Work" written by Stephen Dunn reflects on the problem of hard work and personal feelings. The author argues the purpose of hard work and shows the tiny, fragile borders that limit social responsibility and obligation and give the way to individual prerogatives - love, wishes, and desires.

The poem "Hard Work" is characterized with a deep introspection of the protagonist. The whole mood of the poem is philosophically calm, though somewhat sad and pessimistic. At the end of the poem the author draws to the conclusion, that people have not yet realized the destroying power of "hard work of boredom" and still the majority can not resist it. The values which can be lost in the fight "machine versus personality" are - human soul, creative mind, and personal feelings. "Still does the hard work of boredom, and that person can't escape, goes there each morning and comes home each night and probably has no opportunity to say who he is."

The poem "Hard Work" is written with elaborate, free verse sentences. The structure of the poem much resembles a kind of a short narration. The language of the poem is easy to read, it is not overwhelmed with literary devices which to some extend hide the content and complicate the process of understanding. However, the language of the poem is decorated with some symbols, irony, metonymies, epithets: "big mechanical eye" stands for artificial intellect and more generally symbolizes a destructing power of routine work; "righteous hurt" - sneers at the social duties, men fulfil for centuries, which demands food and solicitation as rewards, but at the same time "makes man separate, lost". The epithets used by Stephen Dunn are particular in the frames of the issue of sex: "beautiful" - which refers to womanhood, represented in the...