Pape On &Amp;Quot;The Trade&Amp;Quot; By Gary Snyder

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Essay # 1 In “The Trade” Gary Snyder uses cold descriptive language to show his opinion of modern society as well as his separation from it. Snyder seems to view the more contemporary things around him as a waste of time. From this we get a sense for the author’s appreciation of nature and simplicity. Despite this the author is still living in the present and thus a conflict is seen; Snyder strongly disagrees with the modern way of life, but the fact that he is alive in this time means that he cannot be completely separated from it. Snyder begins the poem with a cold and lifeless depiction of some unknown place, describing it as a “massive concrete shell lit by glass tubes…” The phrasing is so vague that it is very difficult to get an understanding of what this place is. It is only when we reach the second stanza we conclude the location of a shopping mall or department store. The author’s choice of words easily shows his feelings about this place. At a closer glance it can also be interpreted as Snyder’s feelings for the very people in this mall or store, which is that they themselves are cold and lifeless for spending so much of their leisure time there instead of doing something more productive. This interpretation is reinforced in the poem’s 3rd and last stanzas, where he uses terms like “clinging garb” and “trading all their precious time”. However, Snyder’s contrast between himself and those around him can be seen as early as the 2nd stanza when he describes the items in this store as being “made in the twentieth century” as if he himself was not from that time. By the end of the poem Snyder has completely separated himself from the people around him. He does this by stating that these people “were trading all their precious time for things”. In this we see two things; the first is that he is not committing this act along with these people,

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