Reapers Review Essay, Research Paper
Black reapers are getting ready to harvest the field. Black horses may be the slaves that
drive the mower through the fields. They are hardened by the treatment that they get because they just drive over the rat. When Toomer says it is “a thing that’s done” he means without thinking. It is something that the slaves are used to doing everyday, season after season. At first, the men are sharpening their scythes and start swinging. This probably means that they were doing work by hand. They place the hones in their hip pockets as if they were planning to use them again. It is probably going to be a long day for them because they are going to cut a lot of wheat and they are going to need to sharpen their scythes again. The slaves were not talking because that could keep
them from working to their maximum and cause them to take longer to finish their job. Men know what they are doing and could have seen the rat, but the machines don’t. They are indifferent to anything that gets in their way. The machines are masters because they oppress others; it is something that comes natural and their acts are less than human. Also, the black horses could represent the masters and the rats represent the slaves. When the masters come by and don’t like the way the slave is working, he may hit him with a blade or a whip, which is portrayed when it says,” And there, a field rat, startled, squealing bleeds, his belly close to the ground. I see the blade, blood stained, continue cutting weeds and shade.” So after they are hit, they still go back to work like a machine.
Maybe the break after “one by one” represents the change from manual labor to machine work. Meaning that the rural area was becoming more industrialized as time passed. In the business there is no time for anybody to feel sorry for somebody that is hurt, especially the masters. They do not care is somebody is hurt; they want them to work and get the job done. They are considered a tool and wear out but they may still be used.