The United Fruit Company - Literary Essay Example

Published: 2019-10-11 07:20:26
The United Fruit Company - Literary Essay Example
Categories: Poem Literature
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1137 words
10 min read

Pablo Neruda was born in 1904 and died in 1973 and his country of origin is Chile. Apparently, his Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto is Neruda's real name. Neruda's father worked in a railway corporation whereas his mother worked as a teacher, though she died shortly after his birth. It is reported that Nerudas father was not supportive of his interest in writing. In spite of his fathers opposition in writing, Neruda continued pursuing his interests with The United Fruit Company poem being one his greatest piece of writing. In this poem, Neruda was disgusted with the social injustices that were present in the society. Neruda extensively uses metaphor and symbolism as a way of describing the injustice events that are happening in the society.

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Comparing and contrasting the tone and metaphor of (1) stanza with that of (4) stanza.

In stanza one, the author uses the biblical tone by referring the aspect of Jehovah giving the world to the various popular companies such as Coca-Cola Inc., Anaconda, Ford Motors and other big companies. Apparently, these corporations have been forefront in perpetuating the acts of corruption and oppressing the poor and vulnerable people in the society. The author is therefore compelled to satirize (mock) the position of the religion in the wake of dictatorship, corruption and bad political influence in the society which has led to the decline of the justice and effective leadership in the society. In order to highlight the selfish interests of various corporations such as The United Fruit Company, Neruda uses imagery such as juicy and delicate waist of America in stanza one. In this context, the author claims that The United Fruit Company reserved for itself the most juicy piece. the delicate waist of America (Neruda, Stanza 1, lines 7-9). This indicates that the corporations are out to benefit themselves by acquiring the valuable resources (profits and revenues) at the expense of the poor people in the society.

Unlike in stanza one, the tone in stanza four is ironic and cynical. The author is using this tone to make the audience visualize on the helpless and hopeless nature of the people. In this stanza, the author uses the extended metaphor Indians fall into the sugared depths of the harbors and are buried in the morning mists (Neruda, Stanza 4, lines 1-4). Through this metaphor, the author is able to create mental pictures to the reader regarding the sufferings of the people as the result of the oppressive and destructive operations of the United Fruit Company. Unlike in the first stanza, the author seems to be delusional and pessimistic which can be attributed to the extensive sufferings that people are undergoing in Latin America.

Personification in (2) and (3) stanzas to dehumanize historical characters.

In the second and the third stanza of the poem, the author embarks on the heavy use of the personification which is vital in highlighting the inhuman nature of historical characters such as Trujillo Tacho, Martinez, and Ubico. The author personifies the flies which are considered to be parasitic insects that suck blood from the host animal. Through the use of personification in this context, the author is able to highlight the insensitive and inhumane nature of the tyrannical and dictatorial leaders that oppressed and killed innocent people, just for the sake of their gains.

Neruda laments that the orgy of blood, as well as greed of historical leaders, gave a loophole for the entrance of various corporations which have since ensured there is continued suffering of the Latin Americans. With the bloodthirsty flies came the Fruit Company (Neruda, Stanza 3, lines 1-2). From this lines in stanza three, it follows that the dictatorship of the named historical leaders gave the United States, which is deemed to be carnivorous flies an opportunity to exploit the locals hence leading to the rotting of fruit. The extended use of personification in these two stanzas is significant since it helps the audience to relate his main theme of the suffering that has been brought by to the people by inhuman nature of historical figures such as Trujillo Tacho, Martinez, and Ubico to the Latin American people.

Stanza Two: what makes this part of the story an opera bufa?

It is apparent that Neruda has predominantly used satire and figurative language (metaphor) when referring to the historical events. Through these stylistic devices, Neruda is able to achieve the ironical and cynical tone in the entire poem. In stanza two, the opera bufa (comic opera) is created when the author embarks on personifying flies when it comes to the describing the decay, suffering and the crippling of the society by the Northern America corporations. There is a comic relief when Neruda opts to refer to some historical tyrants with an extension of flies. The author says Trujillo flies, Tachos flies Carias flies, Martinez flies, Ubico flies... (Neruda, Stanza 2, lines 12-14). In this context, Neruda is referring to historical dictators such as Trujillo Tacho, Martinez, and Ubico. In real life situation, flies are insects that are associated with garbage and decay. By relating these dictators to the flies, Neruda is trying to satirize (mock) adverse effects of the dictatorial regimes when it comes to the governance of Latin American countries. It is apparent that the dictators were complicit in allowing the Northern America Companies to come and exploit Latin Americans.

Depiction of the peasant people in the fruit metaphor of stanza (4)

In the stanza four, Neruda depicts peasant people to vulnerable to the exploitation brought by Northern Corporations. In this Metaphor, an image is created of the Indians who allegedly fall into the sugared depths of the harbors and are buried in the morning mists a bunch of rotten fruit thrown on the garbage heap (Neruda, Stanza 4, lines 7-8). This implies that the corporations do not value the lives of peasant people. Apparently, the peasant people can die and their corpses are thrown to garbage heap, just like a bunch of rotten fruit. The fruit metaphor used in the stanza for is significant since it helps the author to explain and satirize the kind of decay, garbage, deaths and untold suffering to the Latin people.

An extended metaphor, which is a stylistic device that concerns at depicting a comparison between two elements that are unrelated in a given sentence, has been heavily utilized in the poem. In addition, the author has also used satire as a stylistic device in which he has been able to mock the leadership styles and various behaviors that are present in the society. Through these stylistic devices, Neruda has been able to give the vivid explanation (visual experiences) of the poem which is integral when it comes to presenting his main themes in the poem.


Neruda, Pablo. "The United Fruit Company poem." Poetry Foundation (2014). print.

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