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However, when motivated by curiosity and wonder values that
have been lost within society made can be confronting and challenging. For instance
in Gray’s poem, The Meatworks the persona questions the society’s
acceptance of the horrible process of a slaughterhouse by revealing the ethical
consequences of human greed on animals. We constantly get reminded throughout
that the process of turning live animals in packages that get ripped open for
dinner involves a set of steps that aren’t particularly pleasant. The persona;
being new to this kind of work seems completely shocked and confused with all
the different sounds, smells and sights of the new working environment. For
example “concrete gutters” are personified to seemingly “crawl off”
demonstrating the confronting images of the blood draining from the meat in a
flow; which reinforces the brutal, secret-like practice. It is this horrid
setting that facilitates the persona’s chain of new discoveries made upon the
so-call “normal” practices in manufacturing. For reasons like this, the persona
opts for the “lowest paying job” which also appears to be the job “furthest”
away from the “killing”. The symbolic distancing suggests that the speaker
attempts to maintain his own values and morals in the face of the oppressing
societal expectations of employment and money gain. Although the job itself is
no less repugnant than the actual “killing”. The poem comes to a pause towards
the end of the poem. The persona leaves for work “on the shining, white,
bruising beach”. The shift in tone and mood reveals the clear contrast between new
environments the persona was situated in earlier. In the last few lines of the
poem, the persona reflects on the feelings he had felt at the time. Even when
knowing how morally wrong the job is, leaving is not an option as it pays well “in
frail green money”. This confronting experience perfectly illustrates how an individual’s
perception in life can be changed by a chain of discoveries driven by the force
of uncovering the unknown.

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