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How are Masters' viewpoints of life and its lessons evident in his writing?How Edgar...

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bbbb900 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted December 6, 2011 at 10:44 PM via web

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How are Masters' viewpoints of life and its lessons evident in his writing?

How Edgar Lee Master brings all this together in his writing of poems ( Realted In the above question).

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

Posted January 12, 2012 at 1:00 AM (Answer #1)

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Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a collection of poems written from the dead's point of view, illustrates the poet's worldview.

1. Almost all of the "epitaphs" in Spoon River demonstrate Masters' belief that one event can define a person's entire life. In "Butch Weldy," Butch was a working man trying to go about his life "morally" when he was blinded in a work-related incident caused by another's negligence. The poem's ending implies that injustice prevails, and that Butch suffered the rest of his life because of someone else's mistake.

2. "Richard Bone" represents Masters' cynicism about humans' relationship with the truth. Just as Bone, a tombstone engraver, admits that he chisels epitaphs that he personally knows are untrue because he's paid to do so, according to Masters, so do historians who are "influenced to hide" the truth.

3. "Mrs. George Reece" continues the theme of Modern American writers' disillusionment. Even though George Reece was a lowly cashier at a bank that failed, he takes the fall for the corrupt bank officials and goes to prison. Mrs. Reece is left husbandless and her children fatherless with no control over who pays for another's misdeeds.

These are, of course, just a couple of examples of Masters' poems, but together they represent his perspective that even in a small town, corruption, disillusionment, hypocrisy, and injustice exist.


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