What is the tone of the poem "Reapers" by Jean Toomer?

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While the mood and imagery of the poem are certainly gloomy, I would describe the overall tone of the poem as scathing. Toomer employs the dark imagery and word choice to convey a deep criticism of the subject of the poem. The poem takes issue with human beings acting without regard for the consequences of their actions, how it causes the death of innocent life.

In the second and third lines, the speaker notes that "I see them place the hones / In their hip-pockets as a thing that’s done." Within such a short poem (eight lines in all), why would the poet dedicate an entire line to observe that the field workers place their tools "in their hip-pockets as a thing that's done"? The speaker wants us to make note of the mundane nature of the destruction of the weeds, shade, and field rats. These...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 413 words.)

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