Over time, poetry has been used as a tool through which people can eloquently express their views in an artistic manner. Poetic works have been used widely in different fields of study to shed some light on various issues that affect us as human beings. “Factory Work” by Deborah Boe is one such poem that highlights the issues of economic, social and personal hardships that people often face in a bid to ensure their survival in an unforgiving and unpredictable world. In this poem, Boe uses literary language to bring various social, economic and gender based issues to the reader’s attention. In the first stanza, the poem gives a detailed description of the monotonous nature of the job that the main character does and how it has changed some of her physical aspects (hands).
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The second stanza brings into play social issues that affect the employees. The main emphasis in this stanza is poor working conditions which threaten the safety of the factory workers (Mohring, 2009). This is reflected upon by the two accidents that the character mentions in this stanza. The third stanza talks about the characters religious beliefs in death and communicating with the dead. She states that her grandfather’s soul had visited her in her apartment as though trying to communicate with her. The final stanza talks about economic hardships. According to the character, employees have to compete for their jobs and are under constant risk of getting laid off.
One of the most challenging experiences for me was in the course of my volunteering at a rehab facility near my home. I always believe in lending out a helping hand to those in need and this was the most logical way to do it. While I began the voluntary service as a test of whether I was cut out for facing social and interactive challenges in future, it ended up being much more than that. I was faced with traumatic and stressful work environments that I could not have foreseen.
This experience had the effect of removing any illusions I might have held pertaining to the field of sociology. Working with the patients who had diverse cultural backgrounds enabled me to learn first hand about new cultures and how best to relate in an intercultural setting. This work experience demanded a lot of patience and empathy from me since some of the suffering patients had unpredictable emotional changes in mood swings and liking. While as a student I have always been adept at working well under pressure, this experience was different since peoples lives sometimes hang on the balance.
My compassion and emotional stability were also put to the ultimate test as I had to comfort stressed and anxious patients and their families and friends. While at times I felt as though my efforts went unappreciated and unrewarded, I persevered well knowing that I had to do this if not for the patients I diligently served, for my self. These experiences greatly honed my people skills and I can assert that I am more emotionally mature as a result of this. Despite the fact that I had to face various social, economic and chauvinistic issues, I learned to cope and up my game because my principles depended on it.
Reflecting back on the poem, the main character had many issues that could have depressed her ultimately leading to her failure. However, she adapted to it all by trying to be the best at what she did, all the while focusing and reminiscing on the positive aspects that life had to offer.
Mohring, R. (2009).“Factory Work” by Deborah Boe. Web.