Arguments in two poems: The United Fruit Co and Identity Card
In Pablo Neruda’s “The United Fruit Co.”, the poet discusses the role of large corporations in exploiting certain members of the population. I really liked how Neruda opened his poem by relating corporations to biblical references, such as Jehovah. He goes to show the irony of a world being given to multi-billion dollar corporations that take advantage of people. In a way, these multi-billion dollar corporations are like God in how they are able to control us. He says the United Fruit Company reserved the most juicy piece, “the delicate waist of America” (Neruda). This has a double meaning; that it was able to claim parts of America with its exploitative tactics, while also increasing the American’s waist, which is symbolic of them getting fat. I really liked how he characterized America’s tendency to purchase thing as a “dictatorship of flies” (Neruda). Even if America might stress freedom and individuality, Neruda reinterprets this notion by characterizing each fly of a different species, who still all have the same motive of being submissive to blood and marmalade. I was very persuaded by this poem.
In Mahmoud Darwish’s “Identity Card”, the poet begins almost every stanza with “Write Down!” (Darwish). It seems that the poet is speaking to a particular group of people to write down something. It would seem that, as a Palestinian, he is speaking to the Palestinian population. In telling people to write things down, he is using a technique to engage more with the people. He is also trying to create an active process in which people write down their anger or their sufferings so that history can see them. Neruda says, “I am an Arab/I have a name without a title” (Darwish). In doing so, Darwish shows the fate of people who are Arab, in that that’s how they are usually identified by others. However, he also shows that he is speaking for the Arab people as a whole. By ending the poem with mentioning his hunger and anger, he creates an expectation for the reader who is interested in reading more.