What brings into existence any great work of literature? Is it a natural gift, artistic vision, dumb luck, or a little bit of all three? As I was writing this paper I tried to keep that question in mind. As I was researching the author, Carl Sandburg, of the poem “Chicago” I decided to try to understand his work I needed to meet four criteria of knowledge of his past and background, literary terms used, a common element shared by him and the poem, and my immediate responses to his work.
The first criteria I want to go through is the common element shared by both the author and the poem, particularly the effects of the Industrial Revolution and the gap between the richest and poorest of the people. At the time that Carl Sandburg was writing “Chicago” he was living, ironically, in Chicago working as an editorial writer for the Chicago daily news. While there he was married Lillian Steichen, who he called Paula. At the time he was 38 and only just starting to have his work published. The first of which was published by Harriet Monroe for Poetry: a magazine of verse.
The first reason that I have noticed was a result of the Industrial revolution and how it affected the population. The Industrial revolution was a large migration of people from rural areas to the city, industrial, areas. This resulted in a population in an area that was far more than the resources could support. The major effect that this had was forcing people into living in close quarters which resulted in a larger crime rate, these were the same conditions that gave birth to Jack the Ripper. As the people were moving in, Carl Sandburg was moving in while at the time he was not one of the poorest, while he may have grownup poor.
With a large migration of people into cities this made way for factories to have a larger workforce. The people became the industries work force and they came looking for work and the upper class who needed the workers. The upper class made to use the work force for the profit and they did this by lower the prices of their workers. This resulted in the people of Chicago not having nearly enough for its people, how can be such a large gap in the people living in the same city.
The poem shows several instances of both of these reasons the Industrial revolution and the large gap between the poorest and the richest. The poem tells me this in the lines describing the women who have no other to support their families except by prostitution. The next lines show the way that hunger affects the children of Chicago and how their families are unable to provide for them. The line that shows the influence of the Industrial revolution is the rising crime rate and the police not being able to keep up them and having to let some criminals go free.
As this wasn’t the only influence in Sandburg’s work I had to move on toward the effects that literary elements had. The effects that the industrial revolution and the plight of the poor are shown effectively in his use of...