In James Patrick Kinney’s poem The Cold Within, what was the rich man thinking and what light does it throw on his character?
The rich man’s mind was preoccupied with the riches he has in store. He was thinking of how to keep safe what he had earned from the poor who he believes are ‘lazy and shiftless’.
The rich man’s thought only reveals his obsession with wealth and his prejudiced mind against the poor.
This is not only about this particular man, but also about all rich men in general. The poet presents the average picture of how discrimination creeps into our mind against the people who stand at the opposite pole in terms of social class, caste, colour or religion. The rich man feels that all poor men are so due to their laziness, when in reality it is not always correct. The poet’s aim is to disclose these prejudices in our minds against one another.
The rich man was a kind of person who would think that poor are lazy and just want to earn big amount of money without any hard work. He is always thinking about securing his own money and not to spend it on poor or needy. Basically, he would choose money over life.
So, James Patrick wants to tell us that greediness will not end well as the rich man too loses his life.