In Jame Patrick Kinney’s poem ‘The Cold Within’ why did the third man not share his log to keep the fire burning?
Or, Why does the third one give his coat a hitch?
The third man was a poor man. It was evident in his tattered (old and torn) clothes. ‘He gave his coat a hitch’ indicates that his short coat was not adequate to keep him warm in the cold weather. He found that another man in the group was a rich person. Being a poor, he was prejudiced against the rich and thought him to be idle. That is why he decided not to spend his log ‘to warm the idle rich’. So, it was all about the clash of social class that made him stay away from sharing his piece of log.
The poor did not thrust the log of wood into the fire because he was envious of the rich. Not only did he perceive the rich as idle but also was guided by animosity against him.
He gave his coat a hitch in order to save himself from bleak and bitter cold.
The third one sat in tattered clothes. And when it was his turn to put his log into the fire all he kept thinking was why his log should be used to warm the lazy rich. He thought that the rich man was very lazy and still he was rich whereas he worked so hard for each penny that he earned. That is why he felt an enmity towards the rich and decided against sharing his log.