The Man With The Hoe Poem Summary

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Great American Labor Struggles Introduction: Charles Edwin Anson Markham was born in Oregon City, Oregon, and was the youngest of 10 children; his parents divorced shortly after his birth. When he was four years old, he moved to a valley northeast of San Francisco with his sister and mother. He started working on the family farm at twelve years. Charles’s mother completely opposed his interest in literature, but he nonetheless pursed higher education at California College, and received his teacher's certificate in 1870. In 1872 he graduated from San Jose State Normal School and in 1873 finished his studies of classics at Christian College in Santa Rosa. In 1898, after two failed marriages, Markham married his third wife, Anna Catherine Murphy (1859–1938), and in 1899 their son Virgil was born. His most famous poem “The Man with the Hoe,” was first published that same year. His main inspiration was…show more content…
The poem explains all the struggles of physical labor, and protests against exploited labor. The toil that the workingman’s bodies goes through, he expresses by "some fierce, silent animal," not a man. The workingman has a family, but his family is only seen as "mouths to feed." Unselfish as he is, slaving "for their life," he is never rewarded for his work. The laborer serves as a symbol of a hard deprived life as mankind toils in the field. The man doesn’t have much time to rest before being back in the fields. His life is repetitive: work, work, and more work. The man has been equipped with the gifts of the ability to learn and have dreams, but he is forced to work in the fields. He is a prisoner in the fields by something corrupt that uses him like an ox. The man, who was created in God’s image, falls short he believes of what God had expected for mankind. The poet questions if this was what God intended or has man’s own hand led to this

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