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Sandburg And Smith Essay

864 words - 4 pages

Both the poets Sandburg and Smith express their feelings towards Chicago, which contradict each other. Sandburg claims that Chicago’s flaws are what make it so admirable, whereas Smith argues there is no more charm to the city. Everything has died, although the city at one point might have been great.
Sandburg celebrates Chicago in his strong open verses. The poem reads as though someone is paying tribute, “Midwestern everyman”, and to him, there is no better idea of a tribute than that of a stockyard, grain processor, and all others that contribute to the city:
"Hog Butcher for the World, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads..." By the end of his first verse, he significantly ...view middle of the document...

The working men of Chicago are "...laughing with white teeth,...laughing as a young man laughs...Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle.../...and under his ribs the heart of the people, Laughing!" That laughing is the joy of living. That laughing is the self-awareness of the "Youth, half-naked, sweating...". Chicago is indeed "proud to be Hog/Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with/Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation." By the end, Sandburg has shown his celebratory attitude and pride in his city and its people through triumph that might seem like downfalls to others.
Smith on the other hand, views the city of Chicago completely different than Sandburg. Smith contradicts Sandburg by saying, “Once you were the Hog Butcher for the world”. The people of Chicago are not proud to be “Hog Butcher[s]” anymore, so now other people pick up the jobs. Smith also contradicts Sandburg by saying that Chicago is not a big industrial city anymore. Smith says, “Once the tools were made here. Are they now? Buy’em at sears. Buy everything at Sears”. Smith shows how Chicago does not make anything anymore; everything can be found at Sears. Once Chicago was proud to make everything on its own, but now it is lazy. When Chicago was being built and formed, people worked for themselves. They built the things that they needed to build. The people of Chicago were had pride in making their own tools and...

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