Homework Help

In "Butch Weldy," what does the speaker mean when he says, "I didn't know him at all"?  

user profile pic

kpf | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:25 AM via web

dislike 1 like

In "Butch Weldy," what does the speaker mean when he says, "I didn't know him at all"?  

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Butch Weldy is blinded by a workplace accident. As he testifies in court about the incident, he is most likely seeking compensation from his employer for his injuries. The "him" in the poem is the same person as Butch Weldy's "fellow servant" and the same someone who "left a blow-fire going." In other words, he is the person responsible for Butch's blindness. Because of "him," Butch will be blind without any type of workers' compensation, and at the poem's end, Butch is flabbergasted that someone who is responsible for changing his life so drastically is a person whom he does not even know. He is looking for someone to blame and to hold accountable, but he goes to his death (hence, his epitaph) without even that slight satisfaction.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes