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Examine closely 'Lore' by R.S Thomas and 'Woman Work' by Maya Angelou. How do the poets show their attitude to life and work in their writing?

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Introduction

Examine closely 'Lore' by R.S Thomas and 'Woman Work' by Maya Angelou. How do the poets show their attitude to life and work in their writing? The poems 'Lore' by R.S Thomas and 'Woman Work' by Maya Angelou are poems about the working life of two very different people. The poem 'Lore' is about a Welsh farmer who enjoys his work and prefers the traditional way of farming. He works hard and has been farming for most of his life, he works for himself. The poem is also written by a Welsh farmer and this voice is used in the poem. 'Woman Work' is about a black American slave, she however does not enjoy her work; she gains nothing from it and longs to be free from her work so she can enjoy more important things in her life. Although she hates her work she still works hard, she does not work for herself as she is a slave, her work is a strong contrast to Job's. 'Lore' by R.S Thomas is about a Welsh farmer. Verse one describes the hard life of the farmer, Job, and the effects that the harsh weather has had on his life. Despite the hard life he has endured, Job Davies is still cheerful and enjoys his work because he has been doing it for eighty-five years. The weather is described as 'slow poison', which shows that it is having effects on his life and although he is still alive it is making his life hard. ...read more.

Middle

He also makes the poem seem optimistic, as the farmer has nothing negative to say about his work and is always happy. He expresses that technology is destructive in the last verse, 'Never mind the machine, whose fuel is human souls'. These lines show that he thinks that the traditional way of farming is more enjoyable as machinery runs on the souls of humans, showing that he prefers manual labour without the aid of technology. Job Davies' individual life also stands for a more universal message about farming because it shows that if you are happy with what you do you should carry on. Job does not agree with using modern machinery and although he struggles he prefers the traditional way of farming. I feel that the wider message of the poem shows that if you enjoy your work and your life you should carry on even if there is suffering involved. I think that Job Davies has a strong character and is determined to continue working on his farm, which shows that he doesn't give up and is enthusiastic. 'Woman Work' by Maya Angelou is about a black, American woman who works as a slave, she shows a very opposite view of work compared to Job. She has many jobs to do and does not enjoy her work or show any positive emotion towards it. The woman is constantly working and refers to the weather to take her away from her work. The poet begins verse 1 with a list of jobs to emphasise the large workload that she has to deal with. ...read more.

Conclusion

I feel that there is a strong message about slavery and the woman has a poor quality of life. I feel sorry for the woman as she does not enjoy her work but she had to do the jobs because she is a slave. I think that the woman is treated unfairly as she has to do the work without any help. The main theme of 'Woman Work' is slavery and how the slaves are forced to work. The woman in the poem hates her work and can only find comfort in the weather when she is outside. She longs to be free as she asks the violent weather to take her away and like Job she finds comfort in nature. 'Lore' is about a Welsh farmer who enjoys his work, shown by the long period of time that he has been doing the same job. The main theme in this poem is farming, traditional farming in particular as Job Davies is against the use if machinery. The port of 'Woman Work' shows a negative attitude towards work and life as she emphasises the large workload and says how she turns to the weather for comfort and affection. The poet of 'Lore' shows a positive attitude towards his work and Job clearly enjoys what he does. The poet shows that all Job needs to survive is food, he also shows that Job enjoys his life and he also has been affected by the weather but despite the harsh conditions he carries on. The reasons that they work are very different. ...read more.

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