Although the poem of Harvest Song centers on the plight of one man, the ideas encapsulated within it were shared by world leaders. Most notably, the notions of this poem were held by Vladimir Lenin of Russia. The ideas that he held while attempting to expedite the economic history of man through his revolution (Occurring at the same time as the publication of this poem) in Russia are similar to the image of the laborer in Jean Toomer’s piece. The figure of the poem occupies one of the lowest positions of his society, the farmhand. He is thoroughly overworked and chronically fatigued, earning only enough so that he may feed himself to stay alive in order to work another day. He is a classic example of what Marx meant when he coined the term of ‘alienation’. The farmhand is totally absorbed in work that obviously gives him no pleasure as he cannot really gain much from his labor except tired muscles. The real beneficiary of his labor is the one who owns the land on which he works. The mention of the loss of senses isolates him from any sort of non-work related stimulation.
“I do not taste it…I am a blind man…I fear to call (mute)… I am a deaf man”
It was this sort of degrading process that fueled Socialist and Communist thinkers such as Lenin and Marx to speak against the system of capitalism. They felt that the pillars of capitalism rested on the exploitation of men just like in Toomer’s poem. Through this alienation, man was chained to his particular labor and was reduced to merely surviving day-to-day. This provided no chance for personal development and maturity, thereby stunting the growth of mankind’s spirit. Clearly the events and ideas of the era in which Toomer lived were not lost upon him.

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