“The market economy” by Marge Piercy, is a free verse with no rhyme or rhythm, and has very few poetic technics. Piercy was born in 1936, and grew up during the rise of capitalism in the United States. This suggest to me that her intended speaker is a mother in search of work during this time. The speaker could also be Piercy herself.
The tone of the poem is consistent throughout. Piercy’s subject matter along with her choice of blatant words create a gloomy, depressing, and ...view middle of the document...
Even though the tone is consistent throughout, there is a contradiction from the first stanza to the second stanza.
Piercy uses mostly denotative words in “The market economy”, which she intends to be used by the dictionary definition. The only connotative expression in the poem is “Smog City” (23), referencing negatively to a capitalist nation full of factories that produce harmful, hazardous waste.
The short poem is broken up into two stanzas. The first stanza states the harsh truth about the various health affects the capitalist economy can have on society. She argues that capitalism is harmful by giving examples in a hypothetical manner, but in reality, these things she is talking about really do happen. The contradiction of the first stanza comes in the second stanza when she claims that it is virtually impossible to stay away from a capitalist economy in order to be successful in life. She does this by posing a question: “But where else will you work? Where else can you rent but Smog City”21-23)? In other words, she is questioning what other options or choices do we have but to be part of capitalism? The poem lacks any kind of rhythm, but the shift in ideas from the first stanza to the second stanza gives an appealing message to the reader.