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"The Red Wheelbarrow"

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by

Parker Smith

on 17 April 2014

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Transcript of "The Red Wheelbarrow"

So What?
1. What could the poem possibly mean?

2. How is the use of such descriptive imagery significant?

3. What does the enjambment of the second line in each stanza emphasize?

4. What is significant about the use of free verse and minimalist style?
"The Red Wheelbarrow"
by William Carlos Williams (1923)
1. The Poem
Initial Thoughts?????????
Break It Down
Different Interpretations
Our Interpretation
so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens
One interpretation stated that the poem could possibly represent the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917. The "red" representing the communist, and the "white chickens" representing the common people.
Another interpretation of the poem stated that the "red wheelbarrow" represented sin, and the "white chickens" represented the purity of people.
The last interpretation we came across stated that the poem actually did not have a real meaning. It stated that the poet was mocking poetry with his minimalist style.
When we first read the poem, Sig and I had no idea to what Williams was attempting to convey in his poem, but after reading up on the historical aspect of when the poem was written, we finally were able to develop a interpretation we could support.

Our interpretation states that the poem represents the importance of farmers during a time, the 1920's, where industrialization ruled America.

"so much depends upon a red wheelbarrow" - with the growth of industrialization the amount of farmers declined leading for more dependence on farmers to grow and sell crops.
The vivid imagery places emphasis on the wheelbarrow and chickens highlighting the importance of farmers in society.
The enjambment of the second lines in the stanzas also places emphasis on the wheelbarrow, rain water, and chickens conveying the same idea has the imagery.
Personification of the "red wheelbarrow" conveys the idea of the dependence the urban society felt towards farmers.
Theme- The importance of everyday, normal people and things
1. First thoughts of the poem?

2. What techniques and/or devices do you recognize?

3. Personal interpretations?


Techniques/Devices
Imagery- uses descriptive words such as "red" and "glazed."
Uses poetry device of enjambment emphasizing the break in the lines.
Uses free verse meaning the poem has no rhyme nor meter.
All words are two syllables or less emphasizing the minimalist style.
Personification of the wheelbarrow , "so much depends upon"
Lack of tone
Questions????
Presented by Sig and Parker
So much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white chickens
Full transcript