It is apparent to me that all three poems use the same workingenvironment. 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 theFactory Worker” uses the sunlight as a metaphor for freedom; one imaginesswinging on a rope made of sunlight while “yelling louder then Tarzan everhad 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 thatsets a redheaded girls hair on fire. The third poem, however, speaks of a man, most likely the oldestemployee in the company, dull eyed and day dreaming who gets by, by doingthe easiest job in the company and finds joy in it. “Factory Jungle” alludes to the sunlight ropes streaming through thewindows and an employee wishes he could swing on them around the factorupsetting his co-workers by flying over their head and in the end swingingthrough 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 itssize the employee wistfully wonders what the press could do to his hand ifhe were not paying closer attention. The second poem “The Song of the Factory Worker” symbolizes to thebuilding in which he works, as an entity that has cast a spell over him andtells him in whispering tones over the machinery, that if he leaves, hewill be back because he will miss the whirring, the noises and the peoplehe works with in the factory. Though he may go home at night, he willreturn the next day or miss the noises and camaraderie of the job thenpauses to see the tired pieceworkers’ who have to stay working late intothe 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 hislife working in the factory smiling that special smile he has; working awayat his station with seemingly no care in the world except for the nextmachine part, he then moves in a figurative manner that almost looks like adance as he moves the part to next station to be painted in a color thatsymbolizes death to him. All three poems use people as a vehicle to express the emotion of thejob through their work, their ramblings, and their wistful glances intonothing. The three poems use metaphors to describe the machinery, thepeople, and the environment around the characters and similes to describethe 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 inthe reader’s mind, of the happiness, freedom, commitment and love of thejob. The poems were written with such figurative language, that as I wasreading each poem I could actually see someone trying to climb a rope oflight and swinging over everyone’s heads, seeing some employees withirritation all over their faces. Seeing in my mind an actual mad elephant, which describes the massivesized press, and the thought of the mad elephant waiting for that worker toslip just once so he can smash his hand or the opening of his coveralls andpounding on his chest.
And because of his need to daydream the parts on hisassembly line are piling up, without a thought of care in his mind. Flyingout the plant gate past the guard makes my mind wonder if this employeesees himself as a vampire since he was flying into the last hour oftwilight. Then there’s that little old man who has no teeth with that specialsmile personified as a man dearly loved by everyone, and picturing himdancing with an axle-housing around his neck, down the line to the nextstep of production, black paint. The figurative language the poet’s use to describe each work locationis in their point of view; however, should I have gone into the samelocations to write three similar poems, my poems would come out differentlybecause I have a different point of view and not everyone sees the samething. Although many similarities exist between Jim Daniels “Factory Jungle”and “Pee Wee” and Ruth Collins “The Story of a Factory Worker”. There is adifference between two of the poems from the third.
Both the “FactoryJungle” and “The Story of a Factory Worker” talk about the feelings of anemployee 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 hisjob for a long time and is happy doing what he is doing, the similaritiesof all three poems is that they are written with the denotation of afactory. The key word that caught my attention to compare these three poemswas the word factory. The plot as I understood from reading all threepoems; is the describing of employees daydreaming on the job, and whatthoughts pop into their heads to describe the equipment each person workswith, how the employee feels about their workplace and the environment orequipment and their feelings of contentment towards their job. There aretwo poems that describe the want to go home and can not wait for the end oftheir day. “Pee Wee”; however, just gives the reader enough information forthe reader to assume that, the little old man is just a happy and contentperson and loves what he does.
ReferencesJ. Daniels, (1996), Factory Jungle, from The Art of Work, An Anthology ofWorkplace Literature (pg 215)J. Daniels, (1996), Pee Wee, from The Art of Work, An Anthology ofWorkplace 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)