Allegory on the Half-Acre: The Demands of History
In the episode of plowing the half-acre, conventional allegorical sublimation of the real within the sign is frustrated by the representation of actual conditions of working poverty. The figure of Hunger appropriates contemporary canonist structures of “ordered charity” to justify the imposition of order on the rural work force through fear of famine. But as he is once more transformed into the personification of physical hunger, his discursive authority as allegorical abstraction is undermined, and Piers recognizes that society is compelled to respond to the demands of physical reality.
YLS 10 (1996): 1-22.
Hewett-Smith, Kathleen M.