The Poem “Greed” by Philip Schultz Review

Pages: 1
Words: 286

The poem “Greed” by Philip Schultz discusses several social problems, including inequality in the United States and the inability to become happy. The message of this poem is relevant to most people because these issues are common for everyone who does not belong to the privileged group of Americans. The author’s metaphoric language allows him to create vivid images of inequality and the impossibility of finding happiness in life.

It is not easy to find work for people who do not have extraordinary skills and qualifications. The author describes it as “men stand at the railroad station, waiting to be chosen for work” (Schultz lines 6-8). Hispanic immigrants usually work for less money, which gives them priority in finding jobs compared to African American and skilled workers. The description shows that all men on the station are terrified by their opportunities and the situation when they have to wait until someone hires them. At the same time, workers cannot gain enough money to retire and be happy. The “dreams of Guatemala” reflect the desire of poor, working-class people to become rich someday, but this dream never comes true (Schultz line 35). This metaphor shows that working-class people are vulnerable in the United States, and they have to struggle to find jobs that are not paid decently.

Summing up, the images of the row of workers on the railroad station waiting for work and the worker’s dreams about retirement in Guatemala illustrate the ideas about inequality and limited opportunities. Working-class people cannot choose jobs themselves, and they can only wait until someone hires them for insignificant payment. They hope to become happy and prosperous someday, but there are no real chances that their dreams will come true.

Work Cited

Schultz, Philip. “Greed.” Poetry Foundation, 2013.