Analysis Of Carl Sandburg 's ' Chicago Essay

Analysis Of Carl Sandburg 's ' Chicago Essay

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Carl Sandburg’s poem, Chicago, gives a rough and rugged sense to the reader about Chicago. Masculinity flows throughout most of the poem, whereas women are portrayed as weak. In contrary, Gina Frangello shows the strength of women in her short story Slut Lullabies. She is able to show us the power of women and how the main character is able to push past any challenge as well as many stereotypes about women. Also, within that story, she gives examples of how ignorant men are because they do not understand what consequences their actions may bring.
Throughout the poem Chicago, Sandburg describes the city within masculine and hardworking words. In the first stanza, he describes it as “Hog Butcher. . .Tool Maker. . .Stacker of Wheat”. This gives Chicago a very prominent and strong seeming tone. More use of masculinity is used when he says “Stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders”, and he is able to give the reader an image of a man who is big and bulky. He is somewhat stereotyping men by giving them this strong and buff image as though they are the support of Chicago. In the second stanza, he begins to describe the woman as “wicked” and says that he has “seen your painted women under gas lamps luring the farm boys”. This line is describing prostitutes and how they are painted, wearing a lot of makeup, and they try to charm farmers. It gives the woman of Chicago a negative light because he is saying that they are very promiscuous. In lines 10-11, he describes how he has seen “on the faces of women and children” the “marks of wanton hunger”. This is another example of how he is demeaning women as helpless and weak within his poem. He never describes the men as being hungry and starved, he only mentions that the children and ...


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...that she wants to “just spend time” (16) with her mother. She shows how strong she is because she is able to push past that awful event and spend time with her dying mother. She shows the reader that no matter what challenges face her, she makes the best of it and is able to move forward.
Even though Slut Lullabies and Chicago are completely dissimilar pieces of literature, they share some similarities and differences amongst topics present within society. Slut Lullabies discusses the gender roles seen within families. Also, it shows the rejection of stereotypes present about women. Chicago describes gender roles as well, but it describes men as being the bread winners and tough. While, woman is only described in negative ways as weak and helpless. The ideas amongst these two literature pieces may be similar, but the authors representation of each is very different.

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