My Work

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Category: US History

Date Submitted: 05/22/2012 12:24 AM

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Brandon Johnson

March 30, 2011

‘God’s Work’ and ‘Carpenter’s Complaint’

The speaker in “God’s Work” viewed his friend – Mr. Edwards, with tremendous admiration and respect.

The speaker views Mr. Edwards as more than a gardener, but as a good friend. He admires Mr. Edwards’ strength and courage as he faces and accepts his slow and painful death, without complaining or crying.

He speaker in the “Carpenter’s Complaint” viewed his friend as a close compatriot, he felt that they shared a close and trusting friendship and considering the fact that his friend had given him the job to build his house, he then felt that that it would only be natural to also build his coffin-which he would have done for free.

The speaker in “God’s Work” responds to the loss of his good friend – Mr. Edwards with anger, expressed towards God. Despite that fact that his friend Mr. Edwards saw all things in life – good and bad, as being “God’s Work” the speaker feels that if the pain and suffering endured by Mr. Edwards up to the time of his death, is a reflection of what “God’s Work” produces, then perhaps God should work less and play more.

The response of the speaker in “The Carpenter’s Complaint” to the circumstances surrounding the loss of his friend is one of anger. His anger is expressed towards his friend’s son and Mr. Belnavis, the man who was selected by his friend’s son to build the coffin. The speaker feels that he has been discriminated against by his friend’s son because the son, knowing of the friendship between his father and the speaker, chooses to give the job of making the coffin to Mr. Belnavis the “big shot”. The speaker is therefore angry about this decision and feels deeply hurt and upset.

In “God’s Work” the poet manages to convey the force of the emotion that the speaker experiences by gradually taking us through various aspects of the speaker’s relationship with Mr. Edwards, telling of how the speaker viewed...