Winter In Yamanoue No Okura's Dialogue On Poverty

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In the poem, “Dialogue on poverty” the setting of winter represents the feeling of despair, both the poor and destitute man possess. Winter, representing the feelings of the men, allow the reader a more in depth view of how the two men feel about their situation. The use of the weather must be noted because if it is not, the full intention of the poem cannot be recognized. The poem “Dialogue on Poverty” by Yamanoue no Okura employs the seasonal setting of winter to represent the despair of the poor in order to criticize the state of man in poverty.

Okura takes the time in the beginning of the poem to present the season in which the poem is set, winter. In doing so, he describes the utter despair of both the poor man and the destitute
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The destitute man describes how “the sun and moon are bright/ [but] have they not refused/to grant their shining unto [him]” (Yamanoue no Okura, Pg.196; Ln.39-41). In this situation the light from the moon and the sun represent hope. However, the light cannot shine unto the man because he has no hope due to his situation. It is winter and rainy so neither can the sun nor the moon shine. This lack of shine completely represent the feelings of the destitute man. He is unable to feel any hope at all because of his situation in which he is stuck in. He feels trapped and as if no one and nothing is willing to help him. The man feels ignored so much so that the sun and moon cannot shine unto him. This feeling of hopelessness is a direct correlation to the feeling of despair. The audience can quite easily catch that he is not just speaking of the weather situation in these lines but instead of his situation as someone so deep in poverty. An audience is quick to catch onto his helplessness that continues throughout the rest of the poem as his lack food and warmth. There builds even more sympathy than that of the poor man who even he had sympathy for the destitute man. By now the audience even if they don’t know it are not only accepting the author’s stance on poverty but the criticism he has towards this societal

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