Literature Analysis of Poem Chicago by Carl Sandburg

“Chicago” by Carl Sandburg is a poem written to describe the everyday lives of Chicagoans. Sandburg uses poetic devices such as similes, personification, and imagery to emphasize parts of the poem, which helps him show his love and pride for the city of Chicago. Imagery played a very important part in the poem because it gave the reader an image in there head of the city and the environment with the people who lived there.

The main purpose of this poem is to defend the common theories that are directed toward the city of Chicago. Sandburg talks about the corruption of the city, which shows he is honest about what he says, but also points out the flaws of other cities and their people. He also points out that even though Chicago is corrupt and bad on the outside, it still has good people on the inside. In the first stanza Carl Sandburg gives details about the jobs of the city and the things most noticed about it.

The first stanza states the name HOG butcher of the world which gives the person an image of a butcher in the city; it also states toolmakers, Stacker of wheat and railroad workers. The details of the city make you think of a stormy, husky, brawling, city with big shoulders. This all means that the city is windy, full of fighters and destruction. Imagery in the poem state that things are very bright and out spoken in the city but even though the city is seen as dark and evil on the outside it’s people are very bright and filled with happiness. Chicago” is filled with personification. By the end of the poem, Chicago seems to be way more like a man than like a city. It has shoulders, a heart, a pulse, and it laughs. Sandburg paints a portrait of a city that is, in some ways, very human. It’s flawed and it’s beautiful, it’s rough and intense. It’s vibrant and adjustable. It turns out that the best way for Sandburg to comprehend the city is to compare it to a human being, that way we have a frame of reference for all the beautiful, strong, messiness.

Lines 1-5 is the perfect example for a personification. “Here, the city is described as various types of workers; it is a hog butcher and a toolmaker and so on. The city resembles the very people who live in it. ” In the poem “Chicago” Carl Sandburg uses similes to create an idea in the readers mind. For example Sandburg writes,”Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action as a savage pitted against the wilderness. ” Here the poet want to compare the city of Chicago to a fierce dog.

This really helps the reader imagine Chicago as a wild and crazy city that is ready for action. Sandburg does an excellent job on demonstrating his love and pride for the city of Chicago. The poetic devices not only make the poem a lot more understandable, but also more interesting. The personifications Sandburg uses make the city seem like a man. He also uses great similes to compare Chicago to other places (which is nearly impossible), and imagery to help those who have never been to Chicago understand what Chicago is like.

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