In the United States there are many highly populated, big cities that exist. They not only serve as purpose for business and industry, but also serve as homes for many people. Chicago, the third highest populated city in the United States, can be defined in several different ways. Carl Sandburg a fan and native of Chicago describes the city. Sandburg describes the city in different ways with his poems “Chicago” and “Skyscraper.” Both poems portray the city as lively and dominant, but the poem "Skyscraper" acknowledges drawbacks of the city.
The first similarity presented in “Chicago” and “Skyscraper” is the description of a lively metropolis. In “Skyscraper” Sandburg describes the skyscraper, which symbolizes the city of Chicago, by writing, “It is the men and women...that give the building a soul of dreams and thoughts and memories" (3). The display of liveliness is the building being described as having dreams, thoughts, and memories because ...view middle of the document...
By giving the image of the city having big shoulders, he is painting an image of a large, strong man that towers over other small men or cities. The butcher description gives off a notion that suggest, like a butcher, Chicago provides the world with a service by giving the world a resource as important as food. In "Skyscraper" Sandburg writes, "By the day the skyscraper looms in the smoke and sun" (1). By writing the skyscraper looms, he displays the building as overshadowing or overpowering the city with its dominant size. The dominance described in the poems shows the power that Chicago had in the time of these poems.
Although the poems describe the city as both lively and dominant, "Chicago" points out flaws in the city; whereas "Skyscraper" keeps a more positive depiction of the city. Although the speaker is acknowledging what critics have to say about the city, in "Chicago" Sandburg mentions that the city is "wicked," "crooked"; and "brutal"(6-8). In addition he also states the city has "painted women," "gunman," and "wanton hunger" (6-8). The speaker of the poem acknowledges some of the evils of the city because he wants the reader to understand that even though the city is a lively, dominant metropolis, it still has downsides and is not perfect. However, in "Skyscraper" Sandburg does not mention any drawbacks. In opposition, the most negative moment in the "Skyscraper" was " One man fell from a girder...his soul has gone into the stones of the building." Although Sandburg mentions the death of a man, he does not make it negative by showing pity. Instead he makes it seem as though the soul went back into the building and continues to live. The difference in both poems is significant, but they still are positive in the overall conclusion of the city.
In conclusion, Both poems portray the city as lively and dominant, but the poem "Skyscraper" acknowledges drawbacks of the city. Although Chicago may have been a great
city in the past, it has now fallen from its old pedestal. The modern-day consensus of Chicago is a city high in crime and not as special as it used to be. Although Chicago may still be the third largest populated city in the United States, Sandburg's description clearly shows a flaw with the general thought of Chicago today.