What is the man's role supposed to be, as God envisioned it?

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According to the speaker, God gave man dominion over land and sea. And yet the man with the hoe, and many others like him, enjoys no such dominion. In fact, quite the opposite. The man doesn't own the ground beneath his feet, the ground on which he expends so much...

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According to the speaker, God gave man dominion over land and sea. And yet the man with the hoe, and many others like him, enjoys no such dominion. In fact, quite the opposite. The man doesn't own the ground beneath his feet, the ground on which he expends so much sweat and back-breaking toil every day of his life. Instead, he works for someone else, someone who's reduced him to little more than a "Thing". (Notice how the poet capitalizes the word to emphasize the importance of the point he's making).

The owner of the land worked by the man with the hoe has dominion here. He's the one that gets to fulfill humankind's God-given role. But as the speaker makes abundantly clear, this comes at the expense of the poor and dispossessed.

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