Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Well, honestly, I do not really see actual examples of how the "everyman" or Christianity is placed in "As I Watch'd the Ploughman Ploughing" at all. The poem is dumb, and Whitman is not the amazing, super-awesome poem every English teacher thinks of him as. Basically, Whitman is creeping on this guy minding his own business, working in his field, and Whitman compares him to life in the ploughing land and death in the harvest he reaps. Seriously, I do not see any connection to the "everyman," unless I am supposed to consider the man being a farmer to be the relation to the average person. But, if I were not a farmer at this time, I would probably not have a relation to this poem because it is entirely about farming, and I would obviously need to know what "tilling" is, which is a term used in agriculture. Then, there could also be a small view from which spirituality can be seen because of the life and death in each side of the same thing. Obviously, life and death act in a cycle because death is always at the end of life, and life, therefore, could be assumed to follow death as well. With the tillage, new soil is brought up from the ground, and it is able to bring wonderful new life to the crops it holds. As the harvest is taken, however, the farmer must cut the plant from its source of life, resulting in the death of the plant. I feel like I am just rambling in circles, but I also think it is Whitman's fault because of the paradox of logic he implores in his writing. Finally, society of the time is strongly reperesented in this short poem because the character is watching the average person, a ploughman, and he has also seen a sower and harvester. This must be evidence that those people are in abundance during the time, which is true because much living of the time period was based on subsistence farming, which employed everyone in agriculture to be able to feed the family.