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Explanation of the Poem ''Ballade of Worldly Wealt''

Andrew Lang in his poem “Ballade of Worldly Wealth” described the people who lived in the 19th century and their mindset concerning money. Repetition that is used throughout the poem shows that wealth can be either good or evil, and this depends on how the money is used. However, good can be easily turned to bad as illustrated in the first stanza. It is shown more specifically in the fifth line that states “money maketh evil show” (Lang 49). Imagery has been used to show that money is both a necessity and the driving force of corruption and power in the society.

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The author made use of parallel construction in the first stanza:

  • Money moves the merchants all,
  • While the tides shall ebb and flow,
  • Money maketh evil show,
  • Like the good and the truth like lies” (Lang 49).

The given extract explains that money helps the world spin around but, at the same time, it creates greediness and persuades the society that money is a great thing, when it is not.

It is clear that the author’s attitude towards money is negative. In his poem, Lang shows that the people are so obsessed with money, and all they care about is money. Lang points out that money cannot bring a person the most important things in life such as love, hope, and faith. According to him, money is nothing but just a physical value. He shows the readers how bad it is to be consumed by one’s economic state.

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The poem describes people that are constantly longing for more money. It is never enough, and they start bringing nothing but hostility, anger and hatred to each other. All this leads to appearance of more sins in the society. The use of repetition helps the author to depict a society that lacks such life essentials as love and happiness and is absolutely consumed by greed.

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