Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formattingExcerpt from Term Paper:
Imagery Helps Communicate Its General Theme
Imagery in Jean Toomer's "Reapers"
Jean Toomer's poem, "Reapers" (1923) contains many darkly powerful images, physically and metaphorically, based largely (although not entirely) on the poem's repeated use of the word "black," in reference to both men doing harvesting work in the fields, and the beasts of burden that help them. Within this poem, Jean Toomer effectively employs repetitions of key words, phrases, and ideas, thus evoking within the reader feelings of both monotony and starkness, as the "Reapers" of the title go about their work. Toomer also creates, through the poem's images, a sense of unceasing mechanical motions (i.e., motions by human beings as well as by the sharp harvesting machinery itself), and equally mechanical, unfeeling scenes of death, such as when a field rat is chopped up by a mower drawn by black horses. The rhythmic, monotonous feeling of the poem is strongly reinforced not only by the fact that the poem has only one stanza, but also by Toomer's deliberate and skillful imagery that melds human labor; mechanical movement; and death into one. In this essay, I will analyze how Jean Toomer's imagery within "Reapers" contributes powerfully to this poem's overall effect.
The poem "Reapers" (1923) reads as follows:
Black reapers with the sound of steel on stones
Are sharpening scythes. I see them place the hones
In their hip-pockets as a thing that's done,
And start their silent swinging, one by one.
Black horses drive a mower through the weeds,
And there, a field rat, startled, squealing bleeds,
His belly close to ground. I see the blade,
Blood-stained, continue cutting weeds and shade. (Toomer, p. 797)
From the outset, then, Toomer's "Reapers" offers vivid imagery of black men ("Black reapers," line 1), apparently either slaves or sharecroppers in the rural American South, and "Black horses" (line 5), going about the rhythmic, methodical business of reaping a harvest in a field. According to Gibbons:
The title, "Reapers," conveys the image of a group . . . harvesting a field with scythes. The title can also convey thoughts of death, as our culture readily recognizes the name "Grim Reaper" to be the cloaked-figure of death. . . both the literal reaping men, and the theme of death are found in the poem.
("Studying Sounds of Scythes")
Further, Toomer's imagery within this poem creates a vivid impression that the labor of these men; horses; and reaping machines, is brisk, mechanical, unceasing, and at times brutal. Most powerfully, perhaps, the work of reaping the harvest, once begun, after "sharpening scythes" (line 2), then mechanically replacing the hones "In their hip-pockets ... A thing that's done" (line 3), stops for nothing: rest; injury; or death.
The poem begins with its main subjects, the "Black reapers" (line 1), i.e., the black men working in the fields, sometime either before or after the Civil War (the poem is not specific in this regard) -- readying themselves for today's work, with their first act of the day being "sharpening scythes" (line 2). Thus the poem begins with images of both sharpness and monotony, a juxtaposition of seemingly disparate images that nonetheless persists throughout "Reapers." Next a mower pulled by black horses, indifferently slices cuts through "weeds and shade" (line 8), destroying a field rat in its midst. As the poem states, of this mechanical; unceasing, and unfeeling work:
Black horses drive a mower through the weeds,
And there, a field rat, startled, squealing bleeds, (lines 5-6)
Moreover, it is as if the "black reapers" themselves, along with "Black horses [that] drive a mower through the weeds" (line 5) are indistinct from the mechanical reaping instruments: "scythes" (line 2) and "a mower" (line 5), that, having caught a field rat in its blades, continues "cutting weeds and shade" (line 8). Further, Toomer's repeated references within the poem, to the color "black" (lines 1 and 5), as both a color and a metaphor, reinforce the fusion of men; machines, and horses.
For example, within line 1 ("Black reapers with the sound of steel on stones," it is unclear at first, before also reading the second line of the poem, whether the "Black reapers" are in fact men or machines. Moreover, the words "black reapers," perhaps also suggest images of death (as in 'Grim Reaper'), which is reinforced by a later line within the poem that describes the death of a field rat chopped up by the blades of a mower driven by "Black horses" (line 5). Within the poem, moreover, "black" represents both the color of death (e.g., "Black horses"), and also the ethnic race of those working methodically in the field.
These "Black reapers," having now sharpened their scythes and replaces the sharpening hones in their hip pockets; mechanically; "a thing that's done" (line 3), begin working, silently, monotonously, as if they were, themselves, but machines. The reapers go about their work silently, mechanically, mindlessly -- like the machines they use for cutting. In this way, the poem's imagery also implicitly suggests that this parallels to way these men (and other blacks during the long, uncomfortable years after the Civil War, were treated: that is, in cases like the poem describes, not all that differently than before the abolition of slavery in the rural South.
Furthermore, as McKay notes:
Toomer creates a contrast between the knowledge and purpose of responsible human beings and the automated disinterestedness of machines.
The reapers are deliberate in their preparations, and they have an objective and expectations of rewards. But no human awareness governs the actions of machines, which cannot comprehend the devastation they cause.
In establishing this division, Toomer indicts those who carry out acts of oppression against others and asserts that they act out of elements in themselves that are less than human. Such actions violate the human reason for being and the doer becomes like the machine, without the ability to nourish human life. ("On "Reapers")
As North observes, also, the mechanical rhythms and meter of the way the poem is written, serve to underscore the equally mechanical, impersonal nature of the poem's human and animal figures, and the manipulated movements of harvesting machinery and inanimate objects:
"Reapers" . . . is written in rhymed quatrains, rhymed so insistently, in fact, that it is possible to read the poem as having only two rhyming sounds for its eight lines. It is also rendered in complete, conventional sentences, and it has a fairly consistent iambic rhythm. . . . The rhythmic repetitions of the form stand for the repetitive nature of the work, which appears most obviously in the nearly perfect iambic line that represents the resumed swinging of the scythes" ("On "Reapers")
The monotonous, physically repetitive and mentally numbing nature of the field work Toomer describes is, as North further points out: ". . . relying . . . On a few movements reiterated again and again, and in a temporal sense, since it must be done every day, every season, season after season. It is" a thing that's done," a habit" ("On "Reapers").
Further, as North states:
As Toomer put it in a letter . . . "The supreme fact of mechanical civilization is
that you become part of it, or get sloughed off (under)." The line describing the death of the field rat embodies this change . . . Instead of working slowly and rhythmically, the mower moves on ineluctably, even killing the living things before it, which make a sound that is the very antithesis of the soft silent swinging of the scythes. The dying squeal of the rat affects the poetry itself, which is least iambic and most interrupted just here, as if the line itself were cut mindlessly and inorganically. ("On "Reapers")
Jean Toomer himself was not black but multiracial ("Jean Toomer"; "Photographs of…[continue]
"Imagery Helps Communicate Its General Theme Imagery" (2005, October 21) Retrieved December 3, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/imagery-helps-communicate-its-general-theme-69233
"Imagery Helps Communicate Its General Theme Imagery" 21 October 2005. Web.3 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/imagery-helps-communicate-its-general-theme-69233>
"Imagery Helps Communicate Its General Theme Imagery", 21 October 2005, Accessed.3 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/imagery-helps-communicate-its-general-theme-69233
Harlem Dancer" and "The Weary Blues" Times Change, but the Struggle is Still the Same The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural and political movement during the 1920s and 1930s that sought to celebrate African-American culture through literary and intellectual means. Two of the era's prominent poets were Claude McKay and Langston Hughes. Their poetry helped to highlight the struggles that African-Americans were faced with. In "The Harlem Dancer," written by McKay,
During this penultimate period of violence under Rojas, the violence that wracked Colombia assumed a number of different characteristics that included an economic quality as well as a political one with numerous assassinations taking place. These were literally contract killings there were sponsored by opposition forms. There were also horrendous genocidal acts that were carried out by gangs combined with authentic revolutionary fighting in some regions of the country. The fourth
The third position means stepping outside the situation and seeing issues from the point-of-view of a third party. NLP reminds us that people receive information in various sensory channels: the visual, the auditory, the kinaesthetic (perception of movement of effort) and the digital mathematical or reasoned thinking (Taylor, 2000). The idea being that people use all of these modes, but may have a preferred mode. Ethnographic approach: this takes its
Irony in "Soldier's Home" -- Irony is a device used by writers to let the audience know something that the characters in the story do not know. There is usually a descrepancyt between how things appear and the reality of the situation. Often the characters do not seem aware of any conflict between appearances and the reality, but the audience or reader is aware of the conflict because the writer
The feminist nature of the novel is established earlier in the novel, wherein the novel begins with the following passage: Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others, they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is
Art "Howl" and "Guernica" Outline The paper demonstrates the ways in which both pieces of art contemplate and express multiple themes, including those of religion, morality, happiness, life-affirmation, and freedom. "Howl" is a poem that is both a mourning and a celebration of life. "Guernica" is an expression of pain and war. Both works of art have many themes and many of the same themes. Ginserb, the 1950s, and "Howl" He composed the poem in the middle
With this in mind communications strategy has to be developed and implemented. The central debate remains that of degree of uniformity. The pros and cons are obvious, i.e. economies of scale, consistent message across markets, centralized control, different market characteristics, media availability and costs and government regulations (Balabanis & Diamantopoulos, 2011). The stronger argument appears to be that different strategy appears to work in different situations, rather than a