Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio Themes

James Wright
This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio.
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American Dream

On a rather obvious level, "Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio" is about the struggles of America's working class. Wright grew up during the Depression and spent his entire youth witnessing the effects of a society that glamorizes wealth and power on the poor and powerless. He uses this poem and many others to portray the way he views the barren lives of blue-collar men and women: they drink too much, they are lonely, they are ashamed, and they find their only comfort in dreaming of a better life. Most of Wright's work expresses the opinion that those dreams do not often come true.

The brief, simple descriptions of the men who sit in the stands at the football game ("Polacks nursing long beers," "Negroes in the blast furnace," "the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel") actually reveal ample, complex problems in their day-to-day existence. These are...

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This section contains 986 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.