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Assembly Line

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by

Pooja B.

on 25 April 2013

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Transcript of Assembly Line

Assembly Line Democracy Wall Movement In time's assembly line
Night presses against night.
We come off the factory night-shift
In line as we march towards home.
Over our heads in a row
The assembly line of stars
Stretches across the sky.
Beside us, little trees
Stand numb in assembly lines.

The stars must be exhausted
After thousands of years
Of journeys which never change.
The little trees are all sick,
Choked on smog and monotony,
Stripped of their color and shape.
It's not hard to feel for them;
We share the same tempo and rhythm.

Yes, I'm numb to my own existence
As if, like the trees and stars
-- perhaps just out of habit
-- perhaps just out of sorrow,
I'm unable to show concern
For my own manufactured fate. The Democracy Wall Movement was a brick wall in Beijing where supporters of democracy gathered to post anti-communism posters and protest against the policies of China's previous Communist leader, Mao Zedong. It was led by Huang Xiang. Eventually the wall was shut down and moved to a park, and the movement ended when the government realized that the democratic supporters were also criticizing the current leadership of the Communist Party. The author is losing hope because she is numb to her own existence, meaning that she doesn’t care about her own life or what happens to her. She compares herself to the trees and stars, both objects which don’t seem to show any interest in their own fate. By comparing herself to them, it shows that she finds them similar to herself because neither she nor the trees and stars can express any sort of concern for their fates. She’s also losing hope because she doesn’t know why she doesn’t care about her own fate anymore. The author mentions that it may be either habit or sorrow that is causing her to not care any longer, but by not knowing, she makes it even clearer that she is unconcerned about her fate because she is losing hope for it. The Metaphorical Title
The poem's title, Assembly Line, is metaphorically used because it helps the reader compare the setting, characters, and tone of the poem to an assembly line. It metaphorically shows the setting by augmenting the comparison of the stars to the factory workers coming from the assembly line, tied and stripped of their color and shape, and sharing the same tempo and rhythm. The title also helps descriptively compare the characters to an assembly line because it shows the characters as uniformly walking home, like products on an assembly line. It helps show the tone too because the poem uses words like choked, monotony, numb, manufactured, and marched; that are all words that help describe the various "components" of an assembly line. These in turn helps the reader to make a connection to the title and various elements of the story like setting, characters, and tone. Theme The theme of "Assembly Line" is that it is difficult to exist in a life where you do the same thing over and over every single day. This was a result of the communist government that China had then. The poet uses the examples of exhausted stars and colorless trees to connect the feelings of people to what she sees in her life and in the lives of the people around her. The lines in the poem that most show this are:
It's not hard to feel for them;
We share the same tempo and rhythm.
She is able to relate her experiences to that of the things that she sees in nature. By: Pooja Bobba, Jordan Higley, and Daniel Rezaee-Garacani Sohil Losing Hope Additional Information Additional Information Cont. Shu Ting Facts About Shu Ting •Shu Ting was born in 1952 in the town of Jinjiang in the Chinese state of Fujian.
•When the Cultural Revolution came, which was a movement by Mao Zedong to try and remove capitalist ideas from China; she was forced into the countryside due to her father being suspected of ideological nonconformity. This went on till 1973, when she returned to her town to go work in multiple factories.
•The experiences that she had there caused her to write multiple poems, including "Assembly Line".
•In a few years her poetry got into a literary magazine through which she became a leading female representative of the Misty Poets. Sohil Facts on Misty Poets •The Misty Poets were a group of Chinese poets that wrote in order to fight back against the restrictions placed on arts during the Cultural Revolution. The restrictions were placed so that ideas that the communist government didn’t want to get out among the people would stay dormant.
•The name comes from people calling their form of poetry obscure, hazy, and misty.
•The group began in the magazine Jintian, or Today, the same one that Shu Ting joined at a later date. Sohil
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