James Patrick Kinney’s poem The Cold Within is a critique on human nature of discrimination and selfishness. Explain.
The poem The Cold Within by James Patrick Kinney is a satire on human nature of discrimination. The poet is sick of seeing how people are divided all over the world over petty barriers like class, caste, colour, ethnicity, religion, gender and other prejudices.
In the poem, six people with different identities gather around a fire in a cold winter evening. Each of them had a log. But when the fire was dying, no one agreed to share his log. They were all prejudiced against one another and did not want to help others. In the end all of them chose to die from the cold with their logs held in the hands.
Through this poetic parable, the poet criticizes the selfish and prejudiced nature of the entire human race. He attributes their death to the cold in their hearts, not to the cold atmosphere outside.
The six characters in the poem are representatives of people who share the same ideals. Kinney gives a reminder to the mankind that if we selfishly hold on to world’s resources and if we persist in discriminating on such narrow grounds, we are all lost.