Comparative Analysis – Poetry
July 12, 2006
University of Phoenix
Comparative Analysis – Poetry
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between
language and content in poetry. Of the following poems “Factory Jungle”
and “Pee Wee” by Jim Daniels, and “The Song of the Factory Worker” by Ruth
Collins are three poems from the same book “The Art of Work” by C. LaRocco
and J. Coughlin, published by South-Western Educational Publishing,
It is apparent to me that all three poems use the same working
environment. That is of a factory; using machinery, presses, welding,
cranes and safety equipment.
Two of the poems I read the “Factory Jungle” and “The Song of the
Factory Worker” uses the sunlight as a metaphor for freedom; one imagines
swinging on a rope made of sunlight while “yelling louder then Tarzan ever
had to” J. Daniels, because he could not hear over the din of the factory.
“The Song of the Factory Worker” uses sunlight symbolizing a hot flame that
sets a redheaded girls hair on fire.
The third poem, however, speaks of a man, most likely the oldest
employee in the company, dull eyed and day dreaming who gets by, by doing
the easiest job in the company and finds joy in it.
“Factory Jungle” alludes to the sunlight ropes streaming through the
windows and an employee wishes he could swing on them around the factor
upsetting his co-workers by flying over their head and in the end swinging
through the factory gates to freedom or home for the evening. The author
(J. Daniel, 1996) refers to a metaphor to describe a part of the factory;
the “mad elephant” for the biggest press in the plant and because of its
size the employee wistfully wonders what the press could do to his hand if
he were not paying closer attention.
The second poem “The Song of the Factory Worker” symbolizes to the
building in which he works, as an entity that has cast a spell over him and
tells him in whispering tones over the machinery, that if he leaves, he
will be back because he will miss the whirring, the noises and the people
he works with in the factory. Though he may go home at night, he will
return the next day or miss the noises and camaraderie of the job then
pauses to see the tired pieceworkers’ who have to stay working late into
the night, watching the clock waiting for their time to leave for home.
The third poem “Pee Wee” speaks of a man that has spent most of his
life working in the factory smiling that special smile he has; working away
at his station with seemingly no care in the world except for the next
machine part, he then moves in a figurative manner that almost looks like a
dance as he moves the part to next station to be painted in a color that
symbolizes death to him.
All three poems use people as a vehicle to express the emotion of the
job through their work, their ramblings, and their wistful glances into
nothing. The three poems use metaphors to describe the machinery, the
people, and the environment around the characters and similes to describe
the joy of quitting time, which is approaching soon.
The poems actually set the scene, and create imaginative visions,
which makes you think; maybe it is factory work being written about.
For example, both poets use their vivid imagery to leave portraits in
the reader’s mind, of the happiness, freedom, commitment and love of the
job. The poems were written with such figurative language, that as I was
reading each poem I could actually see someone trying to climb a rope of
light and swinging over everyone’s heads, seeing some employees with
irritation all over their faces.
Seeing in my mind an actual mad elephant, which describes the massive
sized press, and the thought of the mad elephant waiting for that worker to
slip just once so he can smash his hand or the opening of his coveralls and
pounding on his chest. And because of his need to daydream the parts on his
assembly line are piling up, without a thought of care in his mind. Flying
out the plant gate past the guard makes my mind wonder if this employee
sees himself as a vampire since he was flying into the last hour of
Then there’s that little old man who has no teeth with that special
smile personified as a man dearly loved by everyone, and picturing him
dancing with an axle-housing around his neck, down the line to the next
step of production, black paint.
The figurative language the poet’s use to describe each work location
is in their point of view; however, should I have gone into the same
locations to write three similar poems, my poems would come out differently
because I have a different point of view and not everyone sees the same
Although many similarities exist between Jim Daniels “Factory Jungle”
and “Pee Wee” and Ruth Collins “The Story of a Factory Worker”. There is a
difference between two of the poems from the third. Both the “Factory
Jungle” and “The Story of a Factory Worker” talk about the feelings of an
employee and what they think of their work place and the work to be done,
the third poem “Pee Wee” is actually about an employee who has been at his
job for a long time and is happy doing what he is doing, the similarities
of all three poems is that they are written with the denotation of a
factory. The key word that caught my attention to compare these three poems
was the word factory. The plot as I understood from reading all three
poems; is the describing of employees daydreaming on the job, and what
thoughts pop into their heads to describe the equipment each person works
with, how the employee feels about their workplace and the environment or
equipment and their feelings of contentment towards their job. There are
two poems that describe the want to go home and can not wait for the end of
their day. “Pee Wee”; however, just gives the reader enough information for
the reader to assume that, the little old man is just a happy and content
person and loves what he does.
J. Daniels, (1996), Factory Jungle, from The Art of Work, An Anthology of
Workplace Literature (pg 215)
J. Daniels, (1996), Pee Wee, from The Art of Work, An Anthology of
Workplace Literature (pg 218)
R. Collins, (1996), The Song of the Factory Worker, from The Art of Work,
An Anthology of Workplace Literature (pg 216-217)