Monday, August 19, 2019

Glimmer of Hope Essay -- Analysis, Carl Sandburg

In the darkest of places, the hardest of times, or the lowest of lows, hope can always be found. â€Å"Hope Is a Tattered Flag,† by Carl Sandburg, illustrates where hope can be found, even when it seems like all is lost. This optimistic poem focuses on the depth of hope and the many aspects of life in which it lies. The setting of the work is in America amid a time of depression and hardship during the 1930s. In these trying times, all people were struggling to find their own gleam of hope anywhere they could. Sandburg speaks to every class of people, especially appealing to the common man who faced the most hardships during this time, with his unrhymed and simple writing style. He uses images of familiar places such as steel mills and salesrooms to speak to the working class citizens, and displays simple symbols of hope that can be found in these places. Also, the poem uses specific word choices, allusions, and metaphors to further depict the symbols of hope encountered in the poem. Sandburg incorporates the concept of hope with the instability of America during the 1930s with the use of vivid imagery, word choice and a writing style of free-verse to convey his theory of hope throughout the poem. Carl Sandburg was born on January 6, 1878, in Galesburg, Illinois. In his early years of schooling, he only advanced as far as the eighth grade before having to leave school to help support his family by working many different jobs that included brick laying and shining shoes. After working a variety of jobs, Sandburg traveled as a hobo until enlisting in the military when the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898. When he returned from the war, he went back to school at Lombard College, which was the place where he first learned of his... ...ct different visions of hope. In his poem, Sandburg deliberately uses a free-verse style of writing. This style is better-suited for Sandburg’s purpose in writing the poem because it directly emphasizes the point of each line while appealing to the common man. The first line of the poem expresses, â€Å"Hope is a tattered flag and a dream out of time† (Sandburg 120). Here, â€Å"tattered† provides an indication of conflict. The â€Å"dream out of time† is signifying that the dream of hope is of another era. During the time of the depression, the American people had so many troubles that they felt hope was unreachable to them. Mahony explains that this image â€Å"portrays hope as a survivor, emerging not unscathed from battle† (129). Sandburg uses clear and understandable language in his free-verse style to get his point across to all types of people in an understandable manner.

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