There are some that have everything in life handed to them, for others, Thomas Hoods “In the Lay of the Laborer” expands on ones determination and loyalty to achieve satisfaction. Not only satisfaction but challenges the coined phrase “with hard work comes great reward. ” As we touch upon the feelings expressed by a possible slave during a days work. In our eyes, we expect great reward with hard work. Now while that does not represent an extremist view, hundreds of years ago, people or so called “property” all worked for the same reason with no reward.
Determination and persistence should be applied in any situation because well, it could always be worse. Determination and persistence are two of the most sought after traits among the human race. Not all were considered “Human” at one point in time, they were considered property to the more royal or wealthier people. Although, those two traits did not diminish among the so called “property. ” Thomas Hood’s “In the Lay of the Laborer” goes inside what most people see as a low point for American society, but exhibits the lack of hatred for the more royal by the slaves themselves.
Slaves themselves expressed that being African American’s should be considered humans, but by chance were not. As Hood said “Still one of Adam’s heirs, though doom’d by choice of birth. ” (75-76) To them, it was chance and they still remained human in each other’s eyes. Humans that possessed traits such as determ...
ination and persistence, but knew nothing else outside of hard labor. The only way things were going to get remotely better or prevent the occurrence of death, punishment, even illness was to persist.
Without determination you have no persistence and without persistence you have no determination. As put swimmingly by Charles Spurgeon, “the difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a mans determination. ” Not to mention, achieving the possible is done by applying yourself. This is relatable to a more modern day, even though the circumstances are not as extreme because things in life are not handed to you. Luck does not exist, if you give up, expect to face the impossible until morals are reevaluated and dealt with. The market team to drive, or mend the fence by the cover side, and leave the game alive. ” (40-42) This quote decoded explains that you must work as a team and keep spirits up among others in order for things to get better. Hence, supporting the importance of applying yourself and understanding the necessity of not only determination, but persistence when working regardless of the task at bay. After reading through this poem once, or maybe a few times, one would find it hard to find any representation of the coined phrase “with hard work comes great reward. However, there is a deeper meaning behind the thoughts of Thomas Hood’s words and the slave he depicts throughout this poem. To us, they worked hard for no reward at all, maybe even to say they worked for no reason at all. Although, Thomas’s firs
insight appears first on lines 43-44 “Ay, only give me work and then you need not fear. ” Adverting to the fact that the slave is perfectly content with asking for work, showing his overseer that his good intentions should be noted. Possibly inferring that the owner of the slaves should not worry himself that his “property” are doing anything besides labor.
Furthermore, Thomas then continues to the express with willingness of the slave to do what is asked of him, “Whatever nature needs, wherever labor calls, No job I’ll shirk of the hardest work. ” (51-53) Where here he is blatantly stating that regardless of the job he won’t evade, or try to avoid it. At this point, it almost seems like he takes pride in his work and the reward isn’t a factor in how well things are done. Another point which directly relates to the importance of determination and persistence with everything that you do.
This last quote best resembles representation and support behind being rewarded for hard work, which in most eyes may be misconceived. “No parish money, or loaf, No pauper badges for me, A son of the oil, by right of toil, Entitled to my fee. No alms I ask, give me my task: Here are the arm, the leg, The strength, the sinews of a Man, To work, and not to beg. ” (67-74) He does not ask for food, money or donations, but feels entitled to his fee. Which consists of his bare essentials, food, shelter, and the occasional pleasure of bacon or a drop of beer.
The reward for this slave, and possibly most slaves in general are the simple bare necessities for life. The reward for them was being alive and being one with the earth, they cherished that because they knew of nothing else. So before one jumps to conclusion, they should consider that the reward could be the unexpected, or the one not thought of. One theme that should be expressed to universal human experiences is to be thankful for what you have and to not be greedy. Not only to be persistent and determined, but to apply yourself and use your knowledge.
Thomas Hood portrays one of the most thought provoking quotes at the start of this poem, it reads “and here’s a ready hand, To ply the needful tool, and skill’d enough by lessons rough, in Labors rugged school” (5-8) The hands are the most universal tool, the most influential god given tool that every human possesses. The possibilities of one’s hands, when applied correctly, are endless. They give you the option to help anyone that surrounds you, but it all goes back to application and how you are going to use them. By offering a ready hand that can operate the needful tool is proper use.
He describes the hands as “skill’d enough, by lessons rough, in Labors rugged school” referring that because of hard work and dedication, his hands have made it through the education process of a slave. In addition to what we already know, Thomas explains “where