Hypocrisy In March Poem Analysis

1334 Words 6 Pages
Within March and many different primary sources, an array of themes are revealed and reflected upon, often discussing life during the 19th century in America. Through such themes, the constant joys and struggles of life are divulged. For instance, the theme of hypocrisy is introduced in a multitude of 19th century sources, including speeches and poems. However, the theme of hypocrisy is expanded upon in March by the characters of Mr. March and Marmee, as their ideals often juxtapose their actions. Hence, both March and the different primary sources combine to demonstrate the timeless theme of hypocrisy, addressing the notion of what is promised and what is truly given.
Through the various primary sources, a theme of hypocrisy is introduced,
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March and Marmee, as their ideals don’t always translate into their actions. An illustration of this occurs in the twelfth chapter, in which Mr. March is faced with the opportunity to save Mr. Canning from the opposing soldiers. However, when March is needed, he thinks to himself, “my mind told my body to move, to crawl, to go out and save the old man. But my sinews had turned to broth” (Brooks 187). March, although typically idealistic, is unable to translate his ideals into his actions. This thus shows the hypocritical being of March, as although he has a lot of passion, he does little to none to make that passion come to life. Another example of March’s hypocrisy is exemplified when March confronts Canning about Zeke, a worker on the plantation, saying, “How can you call it so [your best], when you cast a human being into a sodden hole for the crime of being hungry?” (Brooks 108). Although March is quick to critique Canning on how his handling of the plantation goes against his own ideals. As seen priorly, March is unable to respond to Canning’s call for help when faced with death, and, because of this, March’s state of hypocrisy is shown, as he criticizes those for going against his ideals, even if he cannot put his own into …show more content…
A precedent of this occurs in the Declaration of Independence, as it is said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (Brinkley A-2). The founding ideals of America display a sense of optimism and hope, reassuring all that everyone will be entitled to the notion of liberty. Nonetheless, it is important to note that this was simply not the case. As said in March, “He loves, perhaps, an idea of me: Africa, liberated. I represent certain things to him, a past he would reshape if he could, a hope of a future he yearns toward” (Brooks 242). The idealistic views of Mr. March represent the understanding of America; as what is promised, isn’t what is truly given to all. Freedom, in this case, is what the ideals promise, but, it is not what they give, not as long as the institution of slavery survives. In Eliza Harris, a poem written by Frances E.W. Harper, it is exclaimed, “Oh! how shall I speak of my proud country’s shame? / Of the stains on her glory, how give them their name? / How say that her banner in mockery waves - / Her “star spangled banner” - o’er millions of slave?” (Harper 17 - 21). The juxtaposition within reveals the hypocrisy prevalent in the

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