Exploration of how Yeat’s presents the Irish in September 1913 and other poems
In the poem September 1913 W.B. Yeat’s presents the Irish primarily as monochromatically divided between the Revolutionaries of Ireland at the time, fighting for independence from the United Kingdom, and the wealthy merchants of Ireland. In the poem Yeat’s clearly glorifies the Revolutionaries and damns those who he believes have lost ‘sense’ of what is important – and who are focused on their own personal wealth and not the greater good of Ireland. Moreover, it can be said that Yeat’s divides Irish people in September 1913 into two simply disparate groups; those who live to fight for a cause, and those who do not.
In terms of language used by Yeat’s in the poem, he uses particular phrases to demonstrate his explicit disdain for the wealthy merchants and exemplifies his distaste for capitalist obsession with money and religion; in the first stanza he refers to them as “fumble(ing) in a greasy till”, the word ‘fumble’ evokes an image of haste and thus creates a sense of desperation within the merchants. The line “add the halfpence to the pence” corroborates this image of desperation, as this presents the merchants as delicately and precisely counting every last penny they have, this meticulous behaviour presented by Yeat’s through his language further presents the merchants as greedy. This sense of greed is amplified with Yeat’s powerful metaphor “dried the marrow from the bone”, as marrow is normally associated with nourishment and health, it evokes a parasitical image of the merchants as being like leeches, sucking the life, or anything of any use, out of anything that they can latch themselves onto. Yeat’s makes each act appear obsessive, performed so carefully and selfishly that all else is ignored, and it seems to sap all emotion from the stanza and consequently the merchants discussed within it.
As well as this, ‘greasy till’ first creates an image of poverty, and initially...