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“Chicago” by Carl Sandburg Essay

In The Poem “Chicago”, the poet Carl Sandburg uses personification, diction, and imagery to show his love and pride for his home city of Chicago. In the first stanza “HOG Butcher for the World, / Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, / Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler; / Stormy, husky, brawling, / City of the Big Shoulders:”(1-5), Sandburg uses personification to tell the reader how important his city is to the rest of the nation by listing the important jobs done there. The last two lines of the first stanza also allude to the power of Chicago. Another strong element used by Sandburg is diction. The words Sandburg uses to express his feelings about Chicago are powerful and emotional. Sanburg uses strong diction in the second stanza, “They tell me you are wicked…/And they tell me you are crooked…/And they tell me you are brutal”(6-8).

In theses lines. Words like “brutal”, “crooked”, and “wicked” could have all easily been replaced with simpler less emotion evoking words like “bad”, but Sandburg wants the reader to feel a stronger connection to the poem and to Chicago its self. Sandburg also uses imagery in this poem to convey his feelings for Chicago. “Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with / white teeth, (20).this is a power full image of someone who is dirty, maybe because of the hardships they have been through, yet is still smiling, happily and showing that they still have some clean untouched part of them selves left inside. Carl Sandburg uses Personification, imagery, and diction in “Chicago” to give people who doubt his city’s strength his idea of Chicago.

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