The Red Wheelbarrow
The Red Wheelbarrow
by William Carlos Williams

The Red Wheelbarrow Theme of Man and the Natural World

In "The Red Wheelbarrow" we see a harmonious relationship between an manmade object (reflective of the human world) and nature. The red wheelbarrow sits unused and neglected, while rain seems to wash it clean and make it look brand spanking new. Chickens hang out with the wheelbarrow and keep it company. It almost seems like this wheelbarrow is part of nature. The absence of humans in this scene makes us feel the wheelbarrow's loneliness and makes us appreciate nature for paying attention to the wheelbarrow.

Questions About Man and the Natural World

  1. What examples of nature do we see in this poem?
  2. Is the rain in this poem a good thing or a bad thing? Or is it just a neutral thing?
  3. What role do the chickens play in this poem?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The rain is positive force that washes the wheelbarrow clean, giving it new life.

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