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Lovers Of The Poor Analysis English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 900 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The poems title “Lovers of the poor” is talking about the women from the ladies betterment league. Brooks calls them lovers of the poor because the rich ladies want to help the poor. If they weren’t poor I don’t think the rich ladies would like them, but instead they would be jealous. The rich ladies act like they want to help but deep down they know they really don’t care about the poor and they also know that they will be out of ghetto and in their nice homes while the poor will be stuck in the slums. In our society we make it out to look like we want to help the poor by creating programs and other things to benefit the poor, but when push comes to shove there are still poor people living in these ghettos and society can not do anything about it.

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The order of which things happen in the poem looks like it just keeps getting worse and the poor are finding out how the rich really feel. At first it seems like the rich ladies came to help the poor and maybe even get them out of the gutter. As the poem progresses we see more and more that the rich women don’t really care because it does not affect them in any way. As Brooks says on the second page of the poem “they winter in Palm Beach; cross the water in June; attend, when suitable, the nice Art institute”. The rich ladies know that they will be moving on with their daily lives. The quote that shows this is “their league is allotting largesse to the lost. But to put their clean, their pretty money… seems…” I think that brooks did not put any word after seems to let us figure it out for ourselves. The word that fits there in my opinion is the word crazy.

American history plays a great part in this poem because we are a society that is divided into classes. We have the middle class, which is most of society, and then we have the upper class and the lower class. The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. Everybody only looks out for themselves. As the poem progresses I think that the poor people start to realize that more and more. They realize that the rich women do not care about them and will not be able to help them. Brooks doesn’t tell us straight out that the rich women will not help the poor.

“Although her poetic voice is objective, there is a strong sense that she–as an observer–is never far from her action… She sets forth the facts without embellishment or interpretation, but the simplicity of the facts makes it impossible for readers to come away unconvinced–despite whatever discomfort they may feel–whether she is writing about suburban ladies who go into the ghetto to give occasional aid…”( The Oxford Companion).

Toward the end of the poem it seems as if the rich ladies have had enough and want to get out of there. They finally realized that this is what the poor have to go through everyday. They just couldn’t handle it. Brooks says “The ladies from the ladies betterment league agree it will be better to achieve the outer air that rights and steadies, to hie to a house that does not holler…” The end of the poem shows that they really could care less about the poor people. They even say “perhaps the money can be posted, perhaps two may choose another slum…trying to avoid inhaling the laden air”. This quote in my opinion summarizes the mentality that the rich women have. They will give them some money as long as they can get out of there and never come back. This really shows the choices that these people have. All the rich people have to do is say the word that they want to leave the ghetto. The poor people do not have this choice. This is the hand they were dealt and no rich women are going to help them.

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It is a rather bleak picture of a poor, lonely couple that Gwendolyn Brooks portrays in her poem, “The Bean Eaters.”  Unable to afford meat, the old “yellow pair,” African-Americans who have not been out much, sit at the creaking table–much like their creaking joints–and eat from their “plain chipware” with “tin flatware.” This lonely couple, who are “Mostly Good” have not met with fortune since their tableware is meager and “their rented back room” is all they possess from having “lived their day.”  And, although there is mention of “dolls,” it seems that there are no other people in their lives now.  Perhaps, as the old pair remember with “twinklings and twinges,” there is the joyful remembrance of a child now lost; only beads and dolls remain, and some  futile attempt once at luxury: “vases and fringes.” Indeed, this is a portrayal of two old people who live lives of “quiet desperation,” having suffered in poverty all their lives.  Now, they have only each other, and only their small daily routine of subsistence, “putting on their clothers/And putting things away.” This poem is characteristic of Gwendolyn Brooks, who wrote of the frustration, reality, and injustice of black lives.  With a theme of the individual’s search for self in an inhumane society, Brooks writes, “The Lord was their shepherd./Yet did they want”


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