Ask a question. They symbolize friends. Williams’ powerful use of symbolism along with his precise and concise diction suggests that this is more than a story of a rainy day on the farm. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. In this case, Williams enacts both interpretations. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. A picture speaks a thousand words, as the saying goes. Williams’ opening line of “So much depends / upon” stresses that the ideas that are to follow are very important matters. "The Red Wheelbarrow," first published in 1923, is one of American poet William Carlos Williams's most famous poems, despite being rather cryptic: it consists of a single sentence describing a red wheelbarrow, wet with rain, sitting beside some chickens. ( Log Out /  This can be likened to the biblical account of Noah in which God was angry at his people so he sent rain to flood the world. Things will begin to get better because the clouds have disappeared and the sun is beginning to shine again. This implies that when life is chaotic, even the most simple act of friendship can go a long way. Williams’ first choice of symbolic diction appears in the second stanza of the poem which describes a wheelbarrow as being “red”. The only other information given is vague, and when speaker says that "so much depends upon" this … ( Log Out /  The three symbols presented in Williams’ poem are not fully connected without revisiting the poem’s first stanza and the importance it contains. However, when combined with the fact that it is describing a wheelbarrow, the symbolism becomes apparent.

Williams’ powerful use of symbolism along with his precise and concise diction suggests that this is more than a story of a rainy day on the farm. Ask a question. Williams is not simply telling a story about a wheelbarrow, rain, and some chickens. Often times it is hard for a reader to grasp which symbol is implied because red can represent love, anger, passion, malice, distress, and many more emotions.
The fact that the chickens are white does not make them a symbol of purity, for example. Life will not always be sunny. Therefore, Williams uses this red wheelbarrow as a symbol for a person in turmoil. Ask a question. The color red is a strong color and can have many different symbols attached to it. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. A wheelbarrow on a farm goes through lots of abuse and distress in its lifespan. However, having friends that you can depend upon in those situations is what is truly important. He is rather informing us of the invaluable importance of having somebody there while going through the tough times of life. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow” uses only sixteen words to describe a simple yet engaging scene in a farm setting.

This double meaning for rain gives the wheelbarrow hope because now that the confusion in life is finished, the cleansing can begin. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. The red wheelbarrow being ‘glazed’ by the rainwater captures the wheelbarrow in a brief, transient moment after the rainfall, when the rainwater has made the red wheelbarrow shine in the sunlight. ( Log Out /  Although disorder ensued, the world was purified and eventually inhabitable again. "The Red Wheelbarrow" is without symbols. This thread of symbols is made complete with the “white / chickens” that are described in the final stanza. ( Log Out /  Williams’ first choice of symbolic diction appears in the second stanza of the poem which describes a wheelbarrow … In the turmoil of life, we all need someone that will sit out in the rain with us. The rain is causing turmoil in the life of the wheelbarrow, but it is also cleaning and purifying it as well. They are simple objects that represent the idea of simplicity. Change ), Characterization in “A Streetcar Named Desire”. Friendship, he argues, is what will get us through these times. By Staff Writer Last Updated Apr 5, 2020 10:29:02 AM ET. “The Red Wheelbarrow” is about the significance of a red, rain-glazed wheelbarrow placed alongside white chickens. Rain can symbolize both turmoil and cleansing. The next stanza illuminates this point by informing the reader that it has just finished raining by stating that the wheelbarrow is “glazed with rain / water”. In fact the objects in the poem—the wheelbarrow, the rainwater, and the white chickens—are the very opposite of symbols. One answer is to interpret that red wheelbarrow as a metonym for something greater, as a specific example of a general phenomenon or idea. To take this point further, Williams uses chickens, a rather simple minded choice of animal, to symbolize a friend.