What did the black man see in his piece of wood in James Patrick Kinney’s poem ‘The Cold Within’? Give an instance from the poem to show that his feelings were somewhat justified.
In the poem ‘The Cold Within’, the black man saw a chance to take revenge by hurting the white wo/man by not sharing his wood to keep the fire burning.
Though it was not the poet’s aim to justify his envious feelings here, the same was actually somewhat justified as he was not originally prejudiced against the white. But it was only the urge of taking revenge against the white for the sufferings his race had received at the hands of the white. In the poem we see that the white wo/man rejected to share her/his wood at first as it would help the black man. So it can be said that the black man’s feeling was justified to some extent.
The black man saw in the piece of wood that feeling of taking revenge from the first person of the gathering which was a woman and the black man did not belong to her race, so she didn’t help the black man by not giving her log to fire. This arose the feeling of revenge in the black man, so he also decide that he would not give his log to fire.
The woman’s prejudice is to discriminate based on race. She decided not to give her log to fire because she didn’t want to save the life of the black man. That instance from the poem justifies the feeling of revenge in the black man.
The black man here represents the victims of racial prejudice that have made them suffer for centuries. To a certain degree, the anger of the black man seems to be natural. However, when this anger becomes a deep-seated sense of revenge, it goes against the great values of humanity such as mutual harmony and love. Thus, it cannot be justified.